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 welcomes the two proposals for regulations and issues a set of specific recommendations.
On IPA II:
The EESC supports the greater flexibility introduced by the new instrument and approves the equal treatment among beneficiary countries, by eliminating the difference in the type of support available for candidate and potential candidate countries.
The EESC has reservation as regards the proposal to use a sector-based approach for EU financial assistance. This approach should be used only when partner countries have clear rules and procedures in place.
The EESC asks the European Commission to set-up appropriate platforms in order to involve civil society organisations in all stages of the assistance: preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
The EESC asks the European Commission to better target the needs of social partners when providing assistance to civil society in the region.
The EESC welcomes the “more for more” approach that encourages the countries covered by the Instrument showing sustainable progress in the direction of democracy and respect for human rights and international law.
The EESC recommends the setting-up of platforms for dialogue between civil society and the governments in the EU neighbouring countries, and stands ready to assist the European commission and the European External Action Service in achieving this objective
The EESC recommends that EU Delegations carry out a comprehensive mapping of CSOs in the region, which could help all EU institutions building solid relations with an emerging civil society sector.
The EESC recommends that the EU pay more attention to the capacity building of institutions in the partner countries in charge with the implementation of the assistance, in order to assure a good absorption capacity and transparency in the use of the funds