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.
Here before our assembly, I wish to express my unequivocal indignation at the brutal, cowardly attacks perpetrated in Paris.
I pay solemn tribute to the victims of this odious act of barbarism and pledge full solidarity with the families and loved ones of the victims, the people of France and the institutions of the French Republic.
In attacking the people, democracy and fundamental values of the French Republic, terrorists are attacking the people, democracy and fundamental values of the European Union. I therefore call on all Europeans, their organisations and national and international institutions to use all available means to minimise the impact of terrorist propaganda.
It is our responsibility to prevent terrorists from achieving their objectives, mainly by ensuring that such horrendous and senseless acts by a handful of despicable individuals do not harm the rights, freedoms and well-being - or the aspirations to well-being - of hundreds of millions of people living peaceably on European Union territory.
On this occasion, I would recall that our Committee has adopted opinions on this question, in particular at the request of the European Commission. Our Committee must be ready to update them in keeping with the role assigned to it by the Treaties, which is to advise the institutions of the European Union on details of measures that should be taken and on the role that civil society can play in the fight against terrorism.
I solemnly affirm the unity of European civil society organisations and their full solidarity with the civil society organisations of France.
Lastly, I would ask you to observe a minute's silence in memory of all the victims of violence in France, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Israel, the United States and elsewhere.
European Economic and Social Committee
Statement given in the EESC plenary session, Wednesday 9 December 2015