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.
Georges Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, will express the support of European civil society for the political priorities of the Dutch presidency during his visit to The Netherlands on Wednesday 10 February.
He is scheduled to meet with Ms Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment, to discuss the priorities of the EESC during the Dutch Presidency term, notably concerning a number of referrals for EESC opinions on Europe's social issues.
During another meeting with Ms Brigitte van der Burg, Chair of the Dutch Parliament's Committee on Social Affairs and Employment, the EESC President will discuss entrepreneurship, civil society activities and youth policy.
Mr Dassis will then meet Ms Mariëtte Hamer, President of the Dutch Social and Economic Council (SER) to discuss further cooperation.
The Dutch presidency has requested the EESC to carry out 10 exploratory opinions related to Europe's social issues, integration of migrants and the shape of Europe's economy, the EESC is determined to deliver strong and concrete solutions to make a better Europe for all.
EESC priorities during the Dutch presidency
During the presidency term, the EESC intends to focus on the European social model, with special emphasis on social investment and social benefit systems that contribute to the construction of a European pillar of social rights. This includes decent work, in particular in the context of the free movement of workers and services.
Research and innovation are essential to improve competitiveness and create the conditions for growth and jobs: the Committee will closely monitor the developments related to Industry 4.0, new business-models and changing mind-sets.
The EESC has at heart to defend the values and major successes of the Union, such as the achievements of the Schengen agreement and the Union's "acquis" in the social domain and their consolidation. It is also very concerned by the dramatic situation of refugees in Europe, as well as that of migrants, and it is fully committed to helping pinpoint concrete solutions. It is committed to produce a report in March this year that gathers findings from visits to hotspots in 11 countries, ranging from arrival to transit and destination places (Greece, Austria, Sweden, Malta, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia and Turkey). The EESC will work to promote migrants' integration into the labour market.
- The EESC priorities during the Dutch presidency (January – June 2016)
- 10 referrals for exploratory opinions by the Dutch presidency to the EESC:
Future of the EU Urban Agenda seen from the perspective of civil society
Fighting poverty – meeting the targets
Fairer labour mobility within the EU
Integration of refugees in the EU
The changing nature of employment relationships and its impact on maintaining a living wage
Innovation as a driver of new business models
Sharing economy and self-regulation
The external dimension of the EU's energy policy
More sustainable food systems
A European Sustainable Development Civil Society Forum