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Economic and Social Council

Economic and Social Council

Date of entry: June 10, 2005

Member of AICESIS

Member of ILO

Best practices

In the course of its operation, the Bulgarian ESC has initiated and developed some typically Bulgarian new forms of civil dialogue.  As of 2006, it started organising open public consultations between the ESC on the one hand and legislative and executive institutions on the other hand on strategic economic and social issues.

Such public consultations suggested by the Bulgarian ESC as a new form of civil dialogue and now formally sanctioned by the law under the 2008 ESC Act amendments were highly appreciated by the European Economic and Social Committee and by other international partners.

The ESC has held a number of public consultations that involved the President of the Republic, the Chairperson of the National Assembly, Members of Parliament, ministers, representatives of the local government, civil society organisations and European institutions. Their participation and the subsequent integration of the ESC’s proposals into legislative and executive authority acts indicate the increasing role the Council has in the process of strategic national decision-making.



Institutional characteristics

Date of creation
December 10 2003
Nature of the texts that create the ESC (Constitution, law, decree, etc.)
Economic and Social Council Act


Consultation and advisory

- Purpose: To express the will and interests of the civil society on fundamental economic and social policy issues in the country.
- Mission: To facilitate civil organizations participation in important decision making process governing the country.

The ESC's mission is to promote civil society organisations access to and involvement in the process of decision-making on strategic economic and social issues.

The main goal of ESC's operation is to enable different representatives of organised civil society to feel free to state their views whereas unanimity on matters of common interest is encouraged. The Council expresses and protects civil society interests by communicating agreed statements and proposals submitted by its members to the executive and legislative authorities.

The Economic and Social Council of Bulgaria (ESCB) is an advisory and consultative body that enables delegates from various classes of the society to express their points of view on pressing modern issues.

The Law on the Council was adopted by the People’s Assembly in 2001. The establishment of such a structure contributes to involvement of the society in active participation in the life of the country. An important function of the Council is advising to the Cabinet of Minister and the People’s Assembly on draft laws and strategic matters of economic and social development.

Bipartite plus (W, E and others)

Number of members : 36 members
Group I (Employers): 12
Group II (Trade Unions): 12
Group III (various interests, other civil society organizations): 12

Duration of the term : 4 years

Process of designating the members (election, nomination, by whom, etc.) : The members are appointed by the managing bodies of their organizations with the exception of the independent scientists who are appointed by the Council of Ministers upon proposal of the Minister of the Economy and the Minister of Labor and Social Policy.

Management organes


The President is elected for 4 years by the National Assembly upon a proposal of the Council of Ministers, coordinated in advance with the groups represented in the Council.
They are 3 Vice-Presidents nominated by each of the 3 groups.

General Assembly and Plenary

Plenary session


Gender balance

Equal or More than 10%

Approximately 29% women
Reporting Institution

cabinet of president



Souce of funding
The Budget is a part of the National Assembly budget. The Presidents Board discusses and proposes to the plenary session the drafts of the annual budget, which approves it.


Who convenes the ESC

The President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly and the Council of Ministers convene the Institution. It has a legal right to issue own-initiative opinion.

Salary of members

The Councilors do not receive remuneration for their participation in the meetings of the Council.


The membership is incompatible with several other functions: national representatives and municipal counselors, legal functions, military staff, persons elected.


The opinions shall be published in the official bulletin of the Council.

Main technical areas of competencies

Employment policy and labour market regulation

Problems of the Pension System in Bulgaria

The Labour Market under a Financial and Economic Crisis - Challenges and Possible Solutions

Current Problems and Policies on the Labour Market

Anti-Crisis Measures on Labour Market - EU Member States’ Experience

The Challenges Facing Labour Markets within the Europe 2020 Strategy

Employment of People with Disabilities


Draft Strategy for Preventing and Reducing the Share of Dropouts and Early School Leavers (2013-2020)

Gender equality and anti-discrimination

Family, Good Parenting and Equal Gender Opportunities

Health and Medical Policy

Project on National Healthcare Strategy 2007-2012, prepared by the Ministry of Health (analyses, evaluation, recommendations)

Financial and Economic Policies

Informal Economy and Measures for its Restriction

The Bulgarian Economy under the Global Financial and Economic Crisis – Problems, Challenges And Opportunities

Strategic Priorities for the Bulgarian Economy within the Europe 2020 Strategy

Challenges Facing the Bulgarian Economy

The Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurship

Towards a Job-Rich Recovery

Tackling Poverty in Bulgaria

Condition and Perspectives of Public-Private Partnership

Income Policy as a Main Platform for Improving the Quality of Life, and a Factor of Poverty Reduction in Bulgaria


The Council Recommendation on Bulgaria's 2013 National Reform Programme and Delivering a Council Opinion on Bulgaria's Convergence Programme for 2012-2016 (Swd (2013) 352 Final)

The Draft National Reform Programme of the Republic of Bulgaria


Challenges Facing the Agriculture in The EU Joining of Bulgaria

The Future of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2013 - Position of the Organised Civil Society in Bulgaria

Social Affairs

Measures to Improve Legal Protection of Consumers

European Affairs

Problems of Industry in Bulgaria’s European Union Accession Process

Lisbon Strategy of the European Union and the Policy of the Republic of Bulgaria for the Achievement of Competitive and Prosperous Economy

Priorities and Policies for the Absorption of European Union Funds in Bulgaria for the Period 2014-2020

Communication from the Commission - Annual Growth Survey 2013

Single Market Act II – Together for New Growth

Towards a Single Market Act - for a Highly Competitive Social Market Economy - 50 Proposals for Improving Our Work, Business And Exchanges with One Another

The Impact of the Crisis on Achieving the Lisbon Employment Objectives

Challenges in Absorbing Resources from the European Union Funds Financial Perspective (2007 – 2013)

Sub-committees/working groups

Workplace compliance to National Labour Law, International Labour Standards and collective agreements

Standing Commission for Labor, Incomes, Living Standards and Industrial Relations

Health and Medical Policy / Social Security and social protection

Standing Commission for Budget, Finance, Insurance and Social Security

Environment Policy / Sustainable development

Standing Commission for Regional Policy, Sustainability and Environment

Financial and Economic Policies

Standing Commission for Economic Policy

International / Regional affairs

Standing Commission for International Affairs and European Integration

Social Affairs

Standing Commission for Social Policy