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.
The EESC is concerned that the costs of an emissions trading system for buildings and transport would outweigh the desired benefits and could lead to uncontrolled and therefore existence-threatening price spikes. The EESC is therefore generally critical about the Social Climate Fund being tied to the introduction of an ETS for buildings and transport and would welcome a specific heading in the EU budget dedicated to the social impact of the green transition.
The enormous challenge of designing an effective and fair compensation mechanism in a heterogeneous economic area comprising 27 Member States requires more far-reaching accompanying measures and resources at EU and national level. The EESC calls on Member States to exploit the synergies of the Social Climate Fund with other available financial resources and to use it in the most efficient way.
Concrete measures against energy poverty are needed at both national and European level. These include better access to subsidies for thermal renovations or the replacement of heating systems for energy-poor households, binding basic supply models and general protective provisions for consumers in the energy sector. Regarding mobility poverty, the EESC calls on the Member States to support the development and provision of affordable zero- and low-emission mobility and transport services. The EESC considers the provision of public passenger transport services, within the limits of legal possibilities, to be the backbone of sustainable and affordable mobility.
The EESC regrets that the Commission did not analyse the impact of the Fit for 55 package on individual Member States, nor on different sectors. It is of the opinion that a specific impact assessment of the Social Climate Fund creation would have deserved to be carried out.