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.
See EESC opinion in all languages under Related documents at the end of this page.
There is currently no unambiguous, EU-wide definition making a clear distinction between bona fide self-employed people working on their own account and sham self-employed.
Reliable regulation, and a definition of sham self-employment, would help bona fide self-employed and micro businesses. Sham self-employment should be combated through better registration and monitoring of the real position in the labour market.
Employees who become genuinely self-employed are a normal part of the labour market and the economy. They should be able to benefit from joint facilities like integration into existing organisations and inclusion in different parts of the social security systems and pension schemes. Also health and safety in the workplace should apply in full, and vocational training institutions should be made accessible.
Some schemes set up in Member States to develop entrepreneurship may create distortion of competition for genuine self-employed, micro businesses and SMEs. It is important to have a study of impact on all these categories.
The EESC proposes that a suggestion would be made to Member States to identify especially problematic sectors and to set through social dialogue minimum hourly rates that may vary even within the same Member State within regions.