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.
I strongly welcome the political agreement reached for an ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement between Mercosur and the EU. In the midst of increasing trade protectionism, this trade agreement, is a strong positive signal in favour of multilateralism as well as open, rule-based and free trade between the EU and its partners.
Employers believe that the business community has a crucial role to play in spreading a positive message about trade and in explaining what an ambitious trade policy can achieve. It is businesses that can tell the story of the practical benefits stemming from trade agreements. This was the main message that the members of the EESC Employers' Group delivered to Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, during their meeting on 6 December 2017.
The Latin America Follow up Committee of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a Hearing on the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement: The views of organized civil society on 13 of November 2019.
The main purpose of the debate was to:
Assess the opportunities and challenges ahead of the implementation of the Agreement;
Evaluate compromises and possible impacts of the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the Agreement;
Explore how the civil society and consultative structures should monitor the impact of the Association Agreement in terms of improving human rights and labour, social and environmental rights as well as a strict compliance with international conventions or agreements the parties have committed to.
The External Relations Section (REX) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is responsible for dialogue between European civil society organisations and their homologues from the countries with which the European Union has formal relations (e.g. under the form of a Free Trade Agreement). Through this dialogue, made possible by a series of bilateral bodies, and through specialized opinions and information reports, the Committee is able to concretely contribute to EU foreign policy.