The president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, has presided over the establishment of this social dialogue event for Costa Rica
With the objective of enriching its democracy and incorporating civil society in public policy decisions, Costa Rica has created the Economic and Social Advisory Council – ESAC. The body was presented in a ceremony led by the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, accompanied by the ministers and vice ministers of the Presidency, Labour and Social Security, and National Planning and Economic Policy.
The creation and establishment of the CCES is a historical milestone in Costa Rica and is an answer to more than 20 years of demands from civil society for organic representation, which allowdebate, analysis and the proposal of actions, programmes and public policies to the executive whilst playing an active part in such actions. The Council is made up of 54 representatives from different social, business, union, religious, academic and civil society sectors in general. On taking office, all of them took a solemn oath.
The EUROsociAL+ programme, financed by the EU and in whose management the FIIAPP participates, has been supporting the process of creation of this body, together with the Ministry of the Presidency, for a long time and has technically assisted its construction in line with Costa Rica’s requirements. In particular, it promoted knowledge of different models of European and Latin American ESACs, recommended issues to optimise and improve representation, analysed the structure and functions that would best represent the country and marked out the first steps towards the regulation of the Council.
For this reason, the event was also attended by the EU ambassador to Costa Rica, María Antonia Calvo, who highlighted the programme’s involvement in this successful process. Subsequently, the programme’s main expert on this matter, Beatriz Martín Nieto, gave a keynote talk about what is, and what is not, a Social & Economic Council and, especially, why its existence and operation is justified.
The event was very emotional for those present due its importance in terms of the improvement of democracy in the country and of the management of its institutions. In the words of the president, “the creation of a space for dialogue with such diverse and numerous social representation inputs is a milestone in our democratic culture. Furthermore, it is a sign of our maturity as a society, which knows that there is only one way forward: together”.