No, the Council is not a government body. It is financed from levies paid by all businesses in the Netherlands to the Chambers of Commerce. This method of financing is based on the idea that businesses are in fact a partnership between employers and employees. The Council’s autonomy is enshrined in the Social and Economic Council Act [Wet op de Sociaal-Economische Raad]. The Act states that the Council is responsible not only for ensuring the smooth functioning of commerce and industry but also for promoting public interests.