What is the Social Economic Council?
The Social Economic Council is an independent advisory organization of the country of Sint Maarten. The council consists of three representatives from employers organizations, three representatives from employees organizations, and three independent experts. All board members have a substitute member. The chairman of the board is an independent expert. The board is assisted by the secretariat of the Social Economic Council. The secretariat consists of five staff members. Obligated by the constitution of the new country of Sint Maarten the government signed the ordinance of the Social Economic Council into law in December 2010.
What is our Mission?
The Social Economic Council seeks to contribute to good governance on Sint Maarten. Good governance is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive, and follows the rule of law. Together these principles for governance form the conditions for sustainable human development.
Through its constitutional role the Social Economic Council contributes specifically to participatory and consensus orientated governance. Participatory governance means that governing is too important to be left only to the government. As citizens we can do more for our society than to turn up to vote once in every four years. Government can benefit from the knowledge and experience within civil society. The ordinance of the Social Economic Council makes sure experience and knowledge from civil society have a voice and can advice the government of Sint Maarten.
The Council contributes to participatory government but also carries the spirit of consensus oriented government. Representatives from employees and employers organizations and independent experts stand strong if they agree after consultation and stand together. At the same time government is able to find out what society thinks about policies and draft law through the discussion in the Social Economic Council. A unanimous positive advice or adaption on draft law is a strong signal from civil society. Furthermore, the Council provides a forum where representatives from employees and employers organizations discuss issues important to both.
What is the task of the Social Economic Council?
The Social and Economic Council provides the government of Sint Maarten with solicited and unsolicited advice on all important social and economic issues.
How does the Council work?
The council receives a request for advice from a minister of the cabinet regarding a policy or draft law. To be able to write an advice the Council conducts research on the basis of quantitative and qualitative data, relevant literature and policy documents, and the identification of stakeholders. After discussion and approval in the board meeting the advice is adapted and made final. The final advice is submitted to the Minister of General Affairs of Sint Maarten. The Minister of General Affairs will make the advice public after which the advice will also be posted on this website.
Board- and staff members of the Council can submit social economic topics relevant for the community of Sint Maarten to the board agenda for discussion. After discussion in the board meeting if the board agrees that the policy area is eligible for unsolicited advice, an advice can be drawn. After which the process of unsolicited advice follows the same path as solicited advice.