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.
Volunteering happens when volunteer energy (willingness, capability and availability to volunteer) and volunteer opportunities (possibility to volunteer) are matched. The objective of this study is to create classifications of volunteer energy and volunteer opportunities, providing a qualitative overview of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) that volunteering is facing in the EU.
National volunteering rates can be explained by institutional factors (non-profit arrangements, volunteering discourse and religion) influencing volunteer energy and volunteering infrastructure factors (volunteer profiles, volunteer scenarios and third parties) influencing opportunities. The fact of there being abundant opportunities or a lack thereof is more important than a lack of energy. Volunteer energy is available in most countries, as spontaneous volunteering has repeatedly shown.
The most important conclusion of this research is the pan-European development of two components in the volunteering infrastructure: third party involvement and spontaneous volunteering. Third party involvement consists of corporate volunteering (companies), service learning (educational institutes) and days of service (e.g. the "72 hours without compromise" initiative). Spontaneous volunteering is driven by social media enabling individuals to self-organise. Especially in countries lacking a volunteering tradition, these new volunteer profiles and volunteer scenarios are attractive for younger generations. Policy should pay attention to expanding the involvement of third parties and removing the obstacles to spontaneous volunteering.
New trends in the development of volunteering in the European Union - study