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 pinpoints the 7 key issues for Europe's future.
As part of its Civil Society for rEUnaissance conference on 21 February, the EESC organised seven parallel thematic workshops, focusing on 7 issues which will be decisive for the future of Europe.
The panels, which gathered together some 230 people, saw EESC members and other participants discuss how to mobilise civil society in the run-up to the European elections. What Europe do we want to see emerge from the elections was the basic question running through the discussions.
The questions sparked lively discussions among the many participating civil society organisations, which provided a wealth of input.
Overall, there was consensus that Europe needed to make a qualitative leap in communication to better bring home to ordinary citizens the real benefits the EU has meant for them and showcase its success stories.
At the same time, it also needed to take a critical look at some of its policies against a background of increasing poverty and inequalities, international competition and fear for the impact of massive digitalisation. A new, more sustainable economic model taking sustainable development goals as its compass was called for.
The need to develop a European cultural identity through education, to encourage Europeans to take ownership of their multiple identities and realise that they could be proud to be Europeans without betraying their local roots was prominent in discussions. The key role of European values in shaping identity and the need to hold on to these values now coming under threat was also a recurrent theme.