The presence of the Various Interests' Group (Group III), alongside the Employers' Group and the Workers' Group, ensures that the Committee is a dynamic force and is empowered to give full voice to the concerns of the various social, occupational, economic and cultural organisations that make up civil society in the Member States. In line with the changes introduced in the Lisbon Treaty, Group III is made up of "other representatives and stakeholders of civil society, particularly in the economic, civic, professional and cultural field".
The unique feature which forges Group III's identity is the wide range of categories. Its members are drawn from farmers' organisations, small businesses, the crafts sector, the professions, social economy actors (mutualities, cooperatives, foundations and non-profit associations), consumer organisations, environmental organisations, and associations representing the family, women's and gender equality issues, youth, minority and underprivileged groups, persons with disabilities, the voluntary sector and the medical, legal, scientific and academic communities.
The shared goal is to achieve real economic, social and participatory democracy in the EU. In fact, the Group III motto is "Achieving real participatory democracy in the EU, through civil dialogue" and the ethos underpinning its activities fall under three pillars:
- Diversity in democracy
- Consensus building
- European civic engagement- local action
The EESC's Group III currently consists of 111 members coming from all Member States of the EU.