Most asked questions

How long does the SER take on a report / advice?
The SER is not legally bound to a specific advisory period. However, the SER values issuing balanced, well-founded and responsible advices. When providing an advice, it often requires thorough preliminary research, which is done by the advisory board at the Secretary Office in order to support the Council. Depending on the nature and content of the advice request, the advice takes more or less time.

In 2017, the advice given usually progressed quickly and varied from 5 days (in case of urgent advice request) to 4.5 weeks. The average advisory period was 2.5 weeks. This quick advising compared to previous years (in which the average advice period was 2.5-3 months), may mainly be attributed to the nature of the advice requests.

Should the government seek advice on all socio economic issues?
In Article 2 of the National Ordinance SER, it is stipulated that the Council’s task is to issue advice to the government and the Parliament on the outlines of the social and economic policy to be conducted, social and economic issues and on legal regulations of socio-economic nature. Consequently, the government is obliged to request advice from the SER on all important intentions in the socio-economic field. If the Council is not asked for advice on a subject that the SER does find important, the SER can decide to give unsolicited advice. This is called initiative advice. An initiative advice is especially useful if it is clear when in advance a unanimous consensus on the advice can be obtained.
Besides the Cabinet, can others also ask for advice?
Yes, that’s possible. Since 25 August 2017, in addition to the government, the Parliament, through their chairman, can also request the SER for advice. In January 2018, the SER received the first advice request in this category. The advice request concerns two initiative national ordinances on respectively the amendment of the National Ordinance AOV (modification of the indexing method) and the introduction of a mandatory basic pension.
How are the members of the SER appointed?
By National decree, containing general measures, a profile is established for the members and the substitute members of the Council. The members and substitute members are appointed by National decree. Independent members are appointed by recommendation of the Council.

The nomination of members of employees and employers is a matter of the central trade unions and central employer’s organization itself. They determine who will represent their organization in the SER.

The members are in the SER without burden or consultation.

Which is the role of the independent members?
The independent members are independent experts, chosen from different areas of their individual expertise. They do not represent the government. They are in the SER without burden and consultation. Their task is to serve the public interest.
They also act as a mediator when employees and employers are in disagreement. These are commitments that independent members formulate. When creating the groups of independent members, it is important that relevant scientific disciplines are well represented.
How does the SER built on broadening public support for topics in the social-economic field?
For topics that are outside the classical social-economic areas, the contribution of other groups can be important. This way an advice can win on quality and broad support. Organizations which have specific knowledge on the relevant area or have a specific viewpoint or serve a specific interest could be included in the preparation of an advice in a committee. However, they do not become a member of the Council and consequently do not have any input or participation in the formal settlement of the advice.
Are there also international SER’s?
There are Social and Economic Councils and Similar Institutions worldwide. On 1 July 1999– partly at the initiative of the Dutch SER- the International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions (AICESIS) was established. The purpose of this association is to exchange experiences mutually and to encourage the creation of social and economic councils and similar institutions in other countries as well. The association has members in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
For the period 2019 to 2020, the Board of AICESIS for the Caribbean and Latin-American region is represented by Curaçao, Dominican Republic and Brazil.
Furthermore, the SER Curaçao is also the Acting Secretary General for the Latin American and the Caribbean region.