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.
At its plenary meeting on 17 March 2016, the European Economic and Social Committee gave a clear message to the European Commission, calling on it to draw up conclusive proposals which go further in completing Europe's Economic and Monetary Union without delay. In a package of opinions, the Committee put forward the points of view of the social partners and civil society on the package of proposals for Deepening EMU which the Commission published at the end of last year.
The ECO section discusses the Commission's package on Deepening EMU with Valdis Dombrovskis, Roberto Gualtieri and other institutional and civil society representatives
On 26 January 2016, the EESC's Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) held a thematic debate on the Commission's Deepening EMU package that was presented in October 2015. The package outlines the roadmap and some specific proposals for a stronger and genuine Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). In order to gain a complete overview on the current state of EMU and on the future developments, the ECO section invited a number of distinguished speakers to present the perspectives of the European Parliament, the Commission, the financial institutions and the European civil society.
The economy for the common good in the spotlight at the European Parliament
At an event organised in the European Parliament on 10 December 2015, EESC member Carlos Trias Pintó discusses with European policymakers and key stakeholders how to further advance towards a "European Ethical Market" based on the principles set out in the "Economy for the Common Good".
"Appropriate finance facilities for businesses are a key prerequisite for economic growth". The 1st European Microfinance Day (EMD) on 19 and 20 Oct 2015 was co-organised by the EESC to raise awareness of microfinance as a tool to fight social exclusion and unemployment in Europe. In the presence of Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium and Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, the President of the EESC´s ECO Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion, Mr Joost van Iersel, underlined the importance in the EU of strengthening competitiveness, sustainable development and social inclusion.
This public hearing is being organised as part of the preparation of the exploratory opinion ECO/630 on "Boosting long-term inclusive growth through reforms and investment" requested by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU. It focuses on how to foster upwards social convergence and cohesion, in an economic governance framework defined around debt sustainability, productive investments and reforms. It also looks at the implications of such a framework for the European Semester and the strengthening of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
The market of crypto assets continues to grow, bringing with it both opportunities and challenges. Whilst it is important to harvest the potential the technological innovations offer, the associated risks have to be closely monitored. The hearing will take stock of new developments in the crypto sector, raise awareness, and come up with policy proposals to tackle emerging risks, in order to protect consumers and preserve financial stability.
Emmanuel Macron introduced the French presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) by launching the idea of a new growth model. This new model should make it possible to create employment, reconcile economic development and climate ambition, respond to digital challenges and rely on a redesigned European financial framework.
A proposed review of EU banking rules aims at ensuring that EU banks become more resilient to potential future economic shocks, while contributing to Europe's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to climate neutrality. The public hearing will provide the views of institutional and civil society stakeholders, and will help form the policy recommendations the EESC is drawing up on the legislative proposals currently under discussion.
GDP is the best-known measure of macro-economic activity. While it is used both by policy-makers around the world and in public debates, it was not designed to be a comprehensive measure of prosperity and well-being. Thus, other indicators are needed to assess and address the global challenges of the 21st century such as climate change, poverty, resource depletion and to promote health and a higher quality of life. Beyond GDP indicators should become instruments to not only monitor and measure, but also to inform policy development, improve communication and encourage target setting. Against this background, the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is currently working on an own-initiative opinion on 'Beyond GDP measures for a successful recovery and a sustainable and resilient EU economy'.