The extent to which companies in one country can compete with similar companies in another country. A law came into force in Belgium in 1996 to monitor competitiveness. This stipulates that Belgian salaries may not evolve faster than the average of those in the three neighbouring countries. The Central Economic Council ( CEC The Central Economic Council (CEC) is a body in which discussions are held between unions and employer organisations. The CEC regularly reports on the developments in salaries and employment in Belgium and its three neighbouring countries. Based on this, margins are determined for the negotiations between the social partners. CEC ) performs an annual measurement to see if the objectives have been obtained.