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.
This opinion follows on from the EESC's work on the regulation of rating agencies as part of efforts to address the crises of the last few years.
The Committee welcomes the fact that the proposal tackles the problem of market participants' over-reliance on ratings for UCITS and AIF and attempts to prevent a herd mentality being triggered amongst financial players by inadequate ratings.
The Committee considers that more efforts need to be made to develop procedures and yardsticks in risk management processes, which can be used as an alternative to ratings.
The Committee would reiterate the scepticism it already expressed in its opinion of 12 March 2012 on rating agencies, to the effect that not even market participants' own risk assessment and less reliance on external rating agencies guarantees objectivity in the decisions made by financial market participants or the inclusion of all decisive aspects – in relation to the consequences of the assessment. Furthermore, it believes that one of the fundamental problems of risk assessment lies in the credibility (and independence) of the ratings issued by rating agencies.