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 study examines major reform proposals of EU fiscal rules from an economic and legal perspective. We disassemble the reform proposals in their components and analyse them in their specific proposed form in comparison, thereby shedding light on what is legally possible, economically sensible, and which parameters are to be looked at when putting together a final reform package. We show that quite far-reaching reforms of EU fiscal rules are feasible without treaty change as current secondary legislation restricting member states’ fiscal policies are much more detailed and often much stricter than the original treaty provisions. Especially proposals that shift the current rules towards expenditure rules and which provide for limited borrowing for public investment can be implemented by changing secondary legislation only, provided the parameters are set such that the original deficit thresholds in the treaty are not violated. The same holds for measures lending greater importance to the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure. Increasing the reference value on the debt ratio would require a unanimous vote in the Council after consultation of the European Parliament and the ECB. Proposals that try to shift fiscal rules from rules to standards and focus on empowering independent bodies are instead legally much more difficult to reconcile with the EU treaties.
Between high ambition and pragmatism: Proposals for a reform of fiscal rules without treaty change