The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) was established in 1973 and advises the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) on strategic policy issues relating to sustainable economic, social and environmental development in Ireland. The members of the Council are appointed by the Taoiseach, for a three year term and meet on a quarterly basis. These members are representatives of business and employers’ organisations, trade unions, agricultural and farming organisations, community and voluntary organisations, and environmental organisations; as well as heads of Government departments and independent experts. The composition of the NESC Council means that it plays an important and unique role in bringing different perspectives from civil society together with Government. This helps NESC to analyse the challenges facing Irish society and to develop a shared understanding among its members of how to tackle these challenges.