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Terms of Reference

NESC’s Terms of Reference and Composition are set out in the National Economic and Social Development Act, 2006, and in the National Economic and Social Council (Alteration of Composition) Order, 2010.

NESC functions

The functions of the Council shall be to analyse and report to the Taoiseach on strategic policy issues relating to sustainable economic, social and environmental development in Ireland.

The Council can consider these matters either on its own initiative or at the request of the Taoiseach.  The Council’s reports are then submitted to the Government prior to publication.

NESC membership

The membership of the Council comprises a chairperson and a deputy chairperson, appointed by the Taoiseach, and three people nominated by each of the following:

  • business and employers’ organisations;
  • The Irish Congress of Trade Unions;
  • agricultural and farming organisations;
  • community and voluntary organisations; and
  • environmental organisations.

Along with four public servants, including one representing the Minister for Finance; and seven people possessing knowledge, experience and skills which the Taoiseach considers relevant to the functions of the Council.


NESC is funded through the Department of the Taoiseach. Its annual accounts are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General and are laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.

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