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.
As the call for ambition from civil society continues to grow stronger on questions of sustainability and climate change, political leaders and policy makers are under increasing pressure to adjust their strategic priorities towards achieving a sustainable Europe by 2030. This is why the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) joined forces with the Committee of the Regions and the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU to host a conference on sustainable development. The European Commission and the European Parliament were invited to join the event, as well as other key national stakeholders and institutional counterparts.
The conference highlighted the position taken by the EESC in its opinion on the Reflection Paper "Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030", which was due for adoption in September 2019. The EESC is at the heart of the political implementation of sustainable development as its pivotal role is to ensure that EU policies become much more responsive to proposals by citizens and civil society organisations. The event provided concrete and constructive recommendations to the new European Commission and the new European Parliament.
In addition to the high-level political opening session, which set the level of ambition on a European Sustainable Development Strategy 2030, the conference was structured around two multi-level and multi-stakeholder conversations on themes of key relevance for the next years:
governance for sustainable development, and
sustainable economy for sustainable societies.
These two sessions highlighted the need to place the citizens and the civil society at the heart of the implementation of the future strategy. An important element of these multi-stakeholder conversations was the inter-generational dialogue, stressing the need for genuine engagement between leaders, youth and civil society on the issue of sustainable development. Its purpose is not only to include youth in the political conversations about their future, but also to give them the opportunity to challenge the political and civil society leaders by discussing concrete solutions for a Sustainable Europe.