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 notes that the proposal for a directive aims to generate added value by providing a harmonised approach that strengthens domestic and cross-border cooperation in financial investigations on serious crimes and terrorism.
Nonetheless, the EESC considers that the proposal for a directive should strike a better balance between the fundamental rights of individuals and the need for better law enforcement in combating and prosecuting crime.
The Committee considers that the directive needs to restrict itself solely to detecting and prosecuting offences, and not, in principle, extend to overly generic preventive purposes.
The EESC makes a number of specific recommendations, including to amend the definitions in Article 2 (e) "law enforcement information" and (l) "serious criminal offences", so as to ensure the clarity, predictability and proportionality of the rules establishing the mechanisms for access to the financial data of EU citizens.
Furthermore, the EESC calls on the Commission to regulate the purpose of access to the data contained in the national centralised bank account registries by limiting access for preventive purposes to crimes that affect the collective and individual security of European citizens (i.e.: terrorism, human trafficking and drug trafficking) and allowing access for the purposes of detecting, investigating or prosecuting or recovering the proceeds of offences for all serious crimes.