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 Opinion presents a list of characteristics which make it possible to define the sharing economy model and to distinguish between genuine practices that require special arrangements and those that are sometimes wrongly described as such merely to get around regulations that should apply to them.
The social and environmental dimensions of the sharing economy have the potential to strengthen solidarity between people, boost local economies, create jobs, rationalise household consumption by pooling the use of certain goods, reduce energy footprints and promote more responsible and sustainable consumption.
The Commission should undertake policy measures in order to ensure that the numerous varieties of the sharing economy and the different ways it operates are supported, implemented, and gain credibility and trust at EU level and in the various Member States.
New business models need to comply with the applicable national and EU legislation.
The rights of all partners operating in the sharing economy, including prosumers, must be protected by adapting these relations across the existing EU acquis on consumer rights.
The EU must urgently define a clear and transparent legal framework within which these activities should be developed and implemented in the European area.
The Commission should publish without further delay the long overdue "European agenda for the collaborative economy" in order to provide a clear definition of the complementary role that self- and co-regulation must play in the sharing economy.