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.
This urgent need felt by citizens and their associations makes this year's UN Conference on Sustainable Development so important. World leaders in Rio de Janeiro this year have to commit to a concrete action plan leading to sustainable development and poverty eradication within the limited resources of our planet.
For that to happen, civil society is giving a strong signal and is calling on the world leaders that these decisions are needed, wanted and expected. We need to have public deliberations on the new kind of development we want to foster, we need open debates to promote public consensus on the measures we want our political leaders to take. And we need an active civil society showing which practical examples work, where we need to change established patterns and maybe values, and which political decisions are needed to enable civil society action towards sustainable development.