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.
While Europe and its societies are still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the Conference on the Future of Europe in its closing stages, the EESC will be holding its annual Civil Society Days in March 2022. As usual, this flagship civil society conference will bring together citizens, organised civil society and European institutions in an inclusive process to address the major societal challenges the EU currently faces in shaping its future.
Under the overarching topic of The EU as a driver of shared prosperity – civil society for an economy that works for people and the planet, participants will explore how to make Europe more resilient and how to boost the transition towards a more social, green and digital European economy. Only a just transition can ensure that these processes will benefit the people and the environment, and at the same time increase European prosperity. Such a transition should also defend and promote the EU's fundamental rights and principles: solidarity and human rights, democracy, social justice and equality.
As advocates, change makers and guardians of the common good, civil society organisations play a crucial role in defending those values.
A society based on European values, democracy, inclusivity and solidarity is a prerequisite for prosperity. Cooperation and solidarity must be at the heart of all public policies and international relations in order for prosperity to be a reality for all. Increased inequalities within countries and between countries opens avenues to regressive populism, to racism and to other forms of discrimination that result in divisions and conflicts between citizens and groups of citizens. In order to bring shared and sustainable prosperity to Europe, these kinds of divisions and lack of equal opportunities must be eliminated through suitable public policies, responsible employment, and business activities based on openness, inclusion, human rights, fairness and a sense of a shared future and common good.
Civil society has a key role to play, and needs an enabling environment for its actions to contribute to the vision of shared prosperity and an economy that works for people and the planet. This can be achieved by contributing to the development of just, sustainable and inclusive public policy and complementing public action, but also by collaborating, where appropriate, with public and other private actors who have expertise, knowledge, networks, other resources and who are well connected at grassroots level.
Against this backdrop, civil society members of the EESC Liaison Group, in cooperation with the EESC sections, will organise seven interactive workshops raising questions such as – what does prosperity mean to Europeans? What role does civil society play? How can public policies be more just, sustainable and inclusive? Can we have a thriving economy for all that leaves no one behind? and – do EU policies reflect a need for shared prosperity, or do they create a multi-speed Europe?
This and more will be explored around the following key topics:
Upskilling opportunities for all
Intergenerational Dialogues among European Union Entrepreneurs
Volunteers for prosperity
Enabling environment for civil society: the case for meaningful participation
Building a democratic economy for just transition
A green social social market economy for the Future of Europe
The Future of social protection and the European welfare state: minimum income schemes and access to quality social services.