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 purpose of this exploratory opinion is to shed light on the specific contribution that state-owned enterprises/public undertakings can make to the EU's competitiveness and to pinpoint the specific challenges that exist in this area for EU policy and the European institutions.
As part of its consideration of the way in which public undertakings could contribute more to the EU's economic recovery and competitiveness, the EESC has addressed the issue of Europe's services of general economic interest in a number of opinions.
The EESC therefore proposes:
the introduction of a "statute for an EU public enterprise";
the introduction of EU public enterprises for major trans-European infrastructure networks in the areas of energy or transport, which would cooperate with national or local enterprises in these sectors;
studies into the timeliness and feasibility of a European energy service of general interest for the benefit of the public, with a common approach to prices, taxation, financial rules, security, continuity, economic development and climate protection;
the establishment of a European Transmission System Operator by progressively building an independent company to manage a unified gas transport network throughout the EU;
public (EU and Member State) private partnerships to increase the security of energy supply and ensure that interconnected energy networks (gas, electricity, oil) are managed in an integrated way.
The EESC also raises the issue of the economic activities and independence of the EU's executive agencies, while their tasks and responsibilities lead them to be directly involved in socio-economic activities.