The members of the standing commissions are members of the Council. The plenary session, on a proposal from the groups as represented at the Council, elects the chairmen and the members of the standing commissions. The term of office of the standing commissions is by the end of the term of office of the Council. Within the term of office the plenary session may change the type, the number of the members and the membership structure of the standing commissions.
The standing commissions are composed of 6 or 9 members, including the Chairman. The members of the commissions are appointed on the basis of the representation of the groups at the Council. Each ESC Member can be elected a member of more than one standing commission. The members of the commissions participate in person in the sittings thereof and are not allowed to authorise other persons to do that. Each member can be elected a chairman of one standing commission solely.
The standing commissions elaborate drafts of opinions, analyses and resolutions. On carrying out their activities they are assisted by relevant experts at the administration of the Council and by external experts.