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.
The EESC welcomes the new EU Forest Strategy. Against the backdrop of growing demands on and threats to forests, as well as many EU sectoral policies and associated rules affecting forestry and forests, the new strategy is sorely needed. The EESC therefore urges both the Commission and the Member States to ensure that the strategy is effectively and efficiently implemented.
The Committee supports the holistic and balanced approach between the three pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental and social), highlighted by the three overarching headings in the EU Forest Strategy, subdivided into a total of eight priorities.
Given the great importance of forests for the development of rural areas and in order to achieve the goals set out in the strategy, the EESC calls for rural development programmes to include forestry-related measures, and for promoting these measures, in order to ensure a higher uptake of available funds.
The EESC supports the use of forest management plans, but underlines that they should continue to be used on a voluntary basis and kept clearly separate from the Natura 2000 management plans to avoid unnecessary costs and red tape.
The EESC urges the Commission, the EU Member States and all other relevant players to continue the negotiations to reach consensus on a legally-binding agreement (LBA) on forests in Europe.