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.
We have just signed a joint statement that puts in black and white our areas of agreement and clear recommendations on some very crucial topics for the future of our societies.
With today's joint statement, we send a powerful signal and a concrete messages to the political authorities on both sides: after all, if actors as diverse and varied as we are, from both Chinese and European civil society, manage to speak with one voice, then our politicians have to take note.
Closing speech of the 17th China-EU Round Table meeting by Luca Jahier
Ladies and gentlemen, I see the input that will be provided at the EU-China Round Table in the context of the overall relationship between the EU and China, such as the EU-China Strategic Partnership and the recent joint statement adopted at the EU-China summit in April this year.
Opening speech "17th meeting of the EU China Round Table" by Luca Jahier
The EU and China share common views in many areas. The ever-increasing interdependence in this globally connected world that will put demands on us in terms of closer cooperation to face common challenges. Especially in the area of trade and investment, firstly, we must ensure that growth is sustainable, inclusive, and benefits all. We must take measures to make sure we operate sounds and stable financial systems, and commonly and strongly continue to defend the multilateral, open and rules-based trading system we have so carefully built over the last 50 or more years. In this context, the EU’s and China’s active and constructive engagement is paramount to ensuring that the WTO remains the core of the open trading system.
Over the past year we have been particularly active in engaging with our partners, the Chinese economic and social council. The purpose of this dialogue, which is done through what we call The EU-China Round Table have proven to be a very useful tool for putting across the demands and recommendations of civil society organisations to the EU and Chinese political authorities.
Opening speech at the 9th China International Finance Forum
The purpose of today's meeting is two-fold.
We thought it would be good if we, representatives from European organised civil society, would meet to exchange information about planned activities in Rio and to see how we could further foster our common values and positions throughout these diverse activities.
The second reason for today's meeting turns out to be very timely. Originally we had invited Timo Makela, Director of DG Environment, to give us a de-briefing on ongoing Rio negotiations in New York.
We have in place for many years now the EU-China Round Table. Within this framework (which was started10 years ago, and was supported in the EU-China summit 2004), the EESC meets regularly with the Chinese Economic and Social Council. Just a few weeks ago we had our EU –China Round Table in Hangzhou. Our declaration adopted by the end of our discussions in April focused on sustainable urban development. Our two rapporteurs, Evelyne Pichenot on the European side, and Professor Zou Ji on the Chinese side, have done a huge work together.
EU- China Urbanisation Partnership: Staffan Nilsson's Intervention at the Opening Session