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 sector of technical textiles which registered positive economic and employment trends in the EU is an example of "traditional sectors" able to "reinvent itself" on new business model fully suited to the needs of the new industrial revolution (more smart, more inclusive and more sustainable).
Textile Materials and Technologies are key innovations that could respond to a huge variety of societal challenges. Technical textiles are enablers in other industries by proposing and offering:
alternative materials: light-weight, flexible, soft, (multi)functional, durable
new technologies: flexible, continuous, versatile
functional components reliable, multi-functional, cost-effective, user-friendly parts of larger technology systems and solutions.
The European Economic and Social Committee draws the attention of the European Commission and of the European Parliament to the major factors of success that need to be encouraged in order to foster the growth of this promising sector:
to put in place at national and EU levels simple and efficient means aiming at encouraging and financing technological and non technological innovation;
to support all the necessary efforts enabling the work force to upgrade its qualification and to adapt its skills to the growing markets (health, construction, transports, cosmetics ...);
to include in relevant EU R&D programmes a textile component, with the aim of fostering the substitution of traditional materials such as steel and cement by more sustainable textiles materials, and to strengthen research of recycling of these materials as well as in the evolving area of the "CO2 economy" (CO2 as resource);
to take into account the effect of any increase of energy cost on high energy intensive companies in the EU operating for instance in the non woven and composites manufacturing;
to support industry in conducting life-cycle assessments in order to demonstrate the environmental sustainability of the products.