What is the legal status of the CNS?

The CNS is an independent advisory public agency. Its operational procedures are those of the administrative committees with advisory status (decree #2006-672, 8 June 2006).

Who funds the CNS?

The necessary credits for the functioning of the Council are registered in the Ministry of Health budget (Public Health Code, Article D3121-13).

The CNS claims to be an independent actor. How is its independence guaranteed?

- Members of the Council are named for a non-cancellable five-year period.

- Members of the Council perform their functions within the CNS on a voluntary basis.

- Members of the Council produce and annually update their public disclosure, of which the screening can prevent potential conflicts of interest in the Council’s work, deliberations and votes.

- State officials do not intervene in the Council’s activity.


Are CNS members paid?

Members are not paid for the missions they accomplish within the CNS.

How often do CNS members meet? The 26 members of the Council meet once a month in plenary session to discuss and vote Opinions and recommendations.

The Executive Board – 5-9 elected members of the Council – meets twice a month to define and prepare the work of the Council.

The members of the working commissions meet according to the specific needs of each draft Opinion (see Mission & organization section).

Is it possible to contact a member of the CNS?

You may contact a CNS member by addressing an email to the General Secretariat (see Contact section).

What is the role of the General Secretariat?

The General Secretariat is composed of five officers: two expert advisors , a communication officer, an administration officer and an administration assistant. The General Secretariat provides administrative and logistical management, prepares the work ahead, writes and publishes Opinions, reports and press releases of the Council.

It also provides daily monitoring of national and international news of policies against HIV/AIDS & viral hepatitis, and implements expertise on these subjects to inform decisions of the Council.

The agents of the General Secretariat is the permanent staff of the CNS, but they are not members of the Council.


How does the CNS decide what topics to address?

The involvement of the CNS on a topic may follow the referral of a public authority requesting the opinion of the Council.

The CNS can also pick a subject proposed by one of its members, or following the solicitation of any person or structure. Potential topics are presented in plenary session, and the proposal to address them must achieve consensus among the members of the CNS.

How are the CNS opinions drawn up?

Following approval of the subject of a future opinion by the Council, a process of in-depth documentary research is carried out by expert advisors and a scoping paper is established. A temporary working commission may be formed to steer the preparation of the Notice (see Mission & organization section).

Auditions considered useful in the preparation of future reviews are then conducted, in the plenary sessions or in the framework of the Working Commission. People are interviewed as part of their functions, expertise or experience.

Finally, orientations of the opinion are discussed, first by the working commission if there was one, and by members of the CNS in plenary session. The final text of the opinion is adopted by a majority of members.

To whom are the CNS opinions addressed?

The opinions of the CNS are primarily addressed to the French authorities. However they may also be of value to those concerned by its recommandations, and the whole spectrum of people who are involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS & viral hepatitis, in France and in the world.

Are the opinions accessible to all?

All the opinions issued by the CNS since its foundation are public, thety may be accessed on the CNS website, or through a simple written request to the General Secretariat (see Contact section).

What is the impact of the Council’s opinions?

Often the impact of an opinion can not be assessed until months or even years after it was voted, for example when it recommends reform of public policies already in place.

Since its creation, the French authorities and international organizations regularly implement many recommendations issued by the CNS.

Is it possible to submit an idea for a topic to be addressed by the CNS in a future opinion?

You may contact the General Secretariat to propose that they submit a topic to the Council, or to obtain additional information about the work of the CNS.

You may also write to the President of the CNS (see Contact section).