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.
Healthcare must be people-centred and valued as a social investment, not a 'cost', concluded a conference organised by the Civil Society Organisations' Group of the EESC at the House of Europe in Stockholm on 25 May 2023. For this to happen it is necessary to change mindsets socially, economically and politically. Building on cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic, EU Member States need to join forces to build resilient and sustainable health and care systems that leave no one behind and value the work of care workers, civil society organisations and volunteers.
On the World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2023, the European Economic and Social Committee is calling upon the European Commission to adopt binding legislation to prevent psychosocial risks in the workplace. There is mounting evidence pointing to the fact that precarious work is taking a significant toll on workers' mental health. The call was made during yesterday’s EESC’s plenary session, chaired for the first time by the newly elected president, Oliver Röpke.
The EESC proposed to make sure that the relevant European and national legislation is fully implemented and enforced so as to reduce precarious work and the prevalence of the associated mental health problems;
to adopt specific legislation on preventing psychosocial risks at EU level;
to combat identified work-related psychosocial risks at the source.
Persistent health inequalities are a huge factor behind the twofold higher mortality rate of people with disabilities, who on average die 10 to 20 years earlier than people without a disability. At the top of the list of barriers creating such inequalities are exorbitant treatment costs, inaccessible transport and health facilities, and stigma – but also a healthcare workforce that lacks proper training on disability issues.
The European Commission's proposal for a comprehensive European care strategy that should guarantee to all Europeans the possibility of receiving high quality healthcare and care service throughout their lifetime has been met with approval by the EESC
The technical limit value for asbestos exposure should ultimately be set at a lower level than the Commission is currently proposing in a recent Directive regulating the protection of workers from dangers of occupational asbestos exposure, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) said in an opinion adopted at its plenary session in December.
Europe's care sector will be barely capable of responding to the growing care demands of its ageing population. It is in dire need of major investments and a shift in policy-making, which should ensure that care workers are properly paid, have regulated working hours and receive adequate support. To achieve this, EU action will not be enough, and political will at national level will be crucial, an EESC hearing said.