The Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, based in Spain, is responsible for governing and administering the province of Gipuzkoa. Trough council meetings it acts on its legislative tasks and represents the interests of the citizens of the province of Gipuzkoa. The Provincial Council has recognised competences as a provincial institution, especially in the areas of finance, economic development, roads and social policies. The Department for Social Policies is the body with a primary focus on the develpment of social policies within the Gipuzkoa territory. The General Assembly is the highest public representative and participatory body in the province and takes the form of a parliamentary body consisting of 51 councillors elected by universal suffrage. The General Council of Gipuzkoa was created in the 16th century.