The SER consists of three groups, each with 11 members, making up a total of 33 members. This tripartite composition reflects social and economic relations in the Netherlands. The first group consists of members representing employers, the second consists of members representing unions, and the third consists of independent or ‘Crown’ members appointed by the Government.
7 Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (Vereniging VNO/NCW)
3 Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MKB Nederland)
1 Dutch Organisation for Agriculture and Horticulture (LTO)
8 Federation of Netherlands Trade Unions (FNV)
2 National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in the Netherlands (CNV)
1 Trade union federation for Professionals (VCP)
Crown members (11 in total) are independent experts. They are often university professors with a chair in Economics, Finance, Law or Sociology. They are appointed by the Crown, but are not accountable to the government. In appointing a crown member, special care is always taken to maintain a fair balance between the various fields of interest and political views in the country.
The President of the Nederlandsche Bank (the Dutch central bank), and the Director of the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (Centraal Planbureau) are both Crown members. The President of the SER is also appointed by the Crown, on the SER’s advice. The President's post is a full-time post; all other SER members have other principal posts.
All public SER meetings and the closed meetings of the SER’s commissions and working parties are attended by representatives of government departments as observers. These officials are appointed as observers due to their expertise in certain areas of policymaking. Their attendance improves the flow of information between government departments.