Our method

When an advice request is received from one or more ministers of the Cabinet, an admissibility test will determine if the advice request can be accepted for handling. The criteria used hereby are among others the completeness of the advice request, the nature of the advice request (concerning policy intentions with a social economic impact) and the timeliness.

Subsequently, the advice request will be entered on the agenda for discussion in the next meeting of the SER, usually provided with a note of attention written by the Secretariat. Also, the ones involved in the formulation of the advice request are usually invited to this meeting to give a clarification. When an advice request is received from one or more ministers, the commentators are often the official staff of a ministry, sometimes assisted by external technical experts. If the request is submitted by the Parliament, the commentators are usually the members of a political fraction, supported or not by an external technical expert.

In the meeting sessions the law proposal will be discussed, based on which a draft report is set up by the secretariat. The draft advice will then be discussed in a preparatory meeting of the SER. Depending on the complexity of a particular topic and the necessary consultations needed to reach mutual consensus,  subsequently one or more draft advice will be formulated. At the moment, there is an agreement about the content of the advice, it will be settled and made final in a plenary SER meeting.

In the case of advice requests related to a complex matter, a Committee will be created from the members of the SER, while maintaining its tripartite character. The committee prepares the advice request – assisted by the Secretariat – after which it will be presented to the complete Council for discussion.  Settlement of the advice takes place in a plenary meeting.

The Council can also decide to give unsolicited advice on policy issues which are considered relevant on social and economic field as well as socially. These so-called initiatives-advices are always prepared in a Committee, and they will usually take more time because of the complexity of the subject.  For the remaining the initiative advices go through the same procedures as described above.

In article 16 of the National Ordinance of the 24th of August 2017, containing the modification of the National Ordinance of the Social Economic Council, is regulated the publication of the advices of the SER. The advices from the SER to the government are not public. The advices are made public when the government submits the law proposal to the Parliament.
Except particular cases, the SER can make public the advices after six weeks after submitting the advice. This is done by posting the advices on the website of the SER.
Initiative advices and advices to the Parliament are public and are posted immediately on the website of the SER.