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 EESC is convinced that the grave financial crisis and the welcome defeat of casino capitalism could provide an opportunity to adopt more appropriate measures for safeguarding the financial system in the future while simultaneously relaunching the economy. A broad-based effort is required, commensurate with the danger that the virus detected in the financial sector might spread to the real economy as a whole. Investment in infrastructure, in 'green investment' such as energy efficiency, renewable resources, and innovation and research could help bolster demand. A new European Fund, to be managed by the EIB, and guaranteed by the Member States, could solve the problems created by the freeze on financing for the economy, especially for the part of the economy which most requires medium and long-term investment.
Protecting the biodiversity of suppliers of financial services is an element in Europe's cultural and social heritage that must not be frittered away; on the contrary it should be sustained, given the enormous social value that it represents.
The documented and important role of the savings banks and various cooperative movements in promoting ethical/social initiatives and fostering the development of local systems merits particular attention. Efforts should be made to secure more systematic and widespread recognition of this type of social governance.
Each time that a specific organisation can be shown to have given up, at least in part but on a structural and permanent basis, the principle of maximising profit in order to promote initiatives of an ethical or social nature, it should be entitled to come under tax and regulatory rules that are different from the general ones, except in the case of prudential rules, at least in part.
By ensuring that Member States do not adopt measures that would distort competition, the European Commission can help protect diversity in the supply of financial, banking and insurance services. The rules on State aid should take account of this aspect.