The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
Organised by: Volonteurope, European Citizen Action Service, European Civic Forum and the Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC), EESC
Speaking about democracy, the global trends over the past few years could easily be described as the rise of authoritarianism. However, with what many writers and historians refer to as “qualified optimism”, we are witnessing growing democratic resilience, expressed either by institutions which resist their collapse or, more generally, by resilient citizens who spontaneously form active groups and movements.
Organised by: Young European Federalists (JEF), European Youth Forum and Rurality – Environment – Development (R.E.D.)
The sustainability of our democracies is essential for the Future of Europe, especially during these turbulent times in which we live, both in urban and rural areas. To create a more sustainable society and economy, we need to focus on inclusivity and diversity: sustainable democracy is impossible without involving all parts of society in the democratic processes and promoting citizenship engagement.
Organised by: European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Social Platform, European Foundation Centre (EFC), Sustainable Development Observatory (SDO)
Of all the challenges humanity faces today, rising inequality and ecological breakdown are key. If left unchecked, the latter has the potential to wipe out the human species. However, the state of inequality in Europe is also appalling, with 1 in 4 either poor or at risk of poverty. Recent civic movements, from yellow vests to school strikes for climate, illustrate how the social and environmental crises are connected.
Organised by: Union of European Federalists (UEF), European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) and European Volunteer Center (CEV)
For the Active Participation workshop, the key overall objective is to raise awareness of different ways the policymakers attending the event could foster citizens’ participation in the European democratic process. This makes sense during election periods, but we are more concerned about the time in between. Indeed, since the CivSocDay is set in June, our main goal is to promote active participation of European citizens after the elections, which is sometimes less straightforward. How could we achieve this?
E-democracy, citizens' advocacy power and alternative forms of active participation
Organised by: Culture Action Europe (CAE), European Students' Union (ESU), Lifelong Learning Platform (LLL)
A sustainable democracy depends on the freedom of a diversity of voices to express a range of views. In contrast, societies that attempt to control freedom of thought and expression, rights protected by Articles 10 and 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, constrict the necessary space that allows for democratic debate and divergent ideas. Both in artistic and academic domains, challenges to freedom of expression are increasingly prevalent in countries across Europe. The context in which these challenges emerge, and how we can therefore go about addressing them, will form the basis for discussion of this session.
Protecting freedom of expression in culture and education
Organised by: Solidar, European Association for the defence of Human Rights (AEDH) and the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO), EESC
The workshop, co-organised by SOLIDAR, AEDH and the EESC´s ECO section, will consist of an interactive session with the participation of Javier Doz, EESC member and rapporteur for the EESC own initiative opinion entitled Towards a more resilient and sustainable European economy, who will elaborate on efforts seeking to establish a sustainable and more resilient EU economy, capable of absorbing internal and external shocks. From the perspective of increasing inclusiveness and governance, the topic of democracy at work deserves special attention.