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.
The mobility agenda set out in the Commission communication reflects Europe's ambition of making rapid progress towards putting in place, by 2025, a clean, competitive and connected mobility system integrating all means of transport and spanning the entire Union.
A well-functioning Single European Transport Area depends on an adequate regulatory framework. The EESC is of the opinion that the proposed changes in legislation regarding access to the profession, market access – including cabotage – and working conditions mostly fail to effectively resolve the problems they address. The EESC underscores the urgency of finding adequate and smoothly working solutions.
Land transport technology will most likely be revolutionised by digitalisation and automation. The EESC notes that this new technology has the capacity to both improve transport market efficiencies but also to provide analytical data to assist in the control and enforcement of existing legislation and the protection of human and social rights. The EESC encourages the Commission to pursue the "Vision Zero by 2050" project further.
Furthermore, the EESC strongly supports the Commission's proposal to overcome the poor interoperability between the various existing electronic road toll systems in the Member States and implement a common interoperability framework.
The EESC notes the discrepancy between anticipated emission reduction (13%) in road transport under this package and the necessary 18-19% that the transport sector would need to contribute towards achieving the 2030 climate and energy targets. It would like to emphasise that the production of clean electricity is an indispensable condition for a successful introduction of electric vehicles (EV) into the mass market. Moreover, rebuilding trust in the automotive industry and the regulatory system by means of realistic emission standards and adequate test procedures is vital and the Committee regrets that the independent EU-wide vehicle emissions testing oversight authority proposed by the Commission was dropped.
Clear and challenging targets need to be set in Europe for clean energy-powered vehicles in order to stimulate the manufacturing sector in the areas of research, market introduction and production. The technical limitations which are still hindering a faster introduction of alternative traction systems can only be overcome by a robust research programme.