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.
A more sustainable European economy implies reducing drastically our consumption of resources and the amount of waste we produce. Far from being an exclusively environmental concern, the transition to a circular, more resource-efficient economy is a business opportunity, leading to new markets and new jobs.
In late 2015, the European Commission published its Circular Economy Action Plan, along with a proposed review of the current waste legislation. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) supports an ambitious implementation of this Action Plan, which mentions in particular an in-depth consultation of stakeholders and civil society, including "social partners where changes may have important social implications". In previous opinions concerning the circular economy adopted in December 2014 and April 2016, the EESC made the case for a European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, whose aim would be to facilitate civil society consultation, cooperation between national, regional and sectoral networks and the exchange of expertise, information and best practices.
With a view to taking stock of the Action Plan's implementation, looking at next steps and discussing the goals and practicalities of a European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, the EESC and the European Commission co-organised a conference which took place on 9-10 March in Brussels.