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 Committee gives a guarded welcome to the two Communications from the Commission.
The Committee is disappointed that they provide little additional detail to the concepts already outlined in the blueprint, which therefore renders assessment difficult.
The Committee is concerned that a further complexity has been added to an already crowded agenda of economic governance instruments, with relatively little added value.
While these two proposals could be a help to Member States in difficulty, their impact on restoring growth and capacity to the most needy areas may be hampered or delayed because the focus of concern is that the measures taken must also be to the benefit of the euro area as a whole.
The Committee is sceptical that Member States would agree to introducing a new financial instrument to fund the CCI and is unclear what added value it brings over existing structural funds.
The Committee questions how much substance the proposed ex ante coordination will add to the European Semester and what additional burden of bureaucracy it will entail.
The Committee is concerned that the filters used for ex ante coordination could interfere with a Member State taking reform measures because they change relative competitiveness in another Member State.
The Committee believes that spill overs through financial markets have no place in ex ante coordination; every effort should be directed instead at establishing a Banking Union.
The Committee wishes to continue the debate and make proposals at a future date as developments evolve.