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.
Ten years ago, the first Regulation on the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) came into effect, launching a new era in the history of citizens’ participation. The 2022 edition of ECI Day marked a special anniversary of this unique cross-border instrument.
Looking back on the past ten years of the European Citizens’ Initiative, we will hear about its successes, its challenges, and what its future will look like. Against a background of multiple threats to democracy, we will discuss how the ECI has contributed to the evolution of democracy and has been a source of inspiration at local and global level.
As part of the European Year of Youth, particular attention will be focused on young people's participation in the ECI, with a view to making suggestions on what can be done to encourage them to embrace this opportunity and make their voice heard in the EU policy-making process.
Other sessions will look at the crucial need to build a network of supportive civil society organisations for a successful ECI campaign, and we will look too at the online collection tools.
As the Conference on the Future of Europe may provide fresh impetus both to the ECI and, more generally, to participatory democracy, the event will be an opportunity to reflect together on how to make the ECI fit for the next ten years and beyond.
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is a welcome instrument for participatory democracy at European level. Introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, it entered into force in 2012 and allows Europeans to make legislative proposals and participate in decision-making by connecting directly with EU institutions. It is a chance for them to discuss and influence key policies and it sheds further light on the public's view of the EU's agenda and priorities. The ECI Day is an important forum and platform where registered and future ECI organisers and stakeholders can exchange information and experiences and present their ECI and activities to the public.