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 general objective of the Report is to study the recent evolution of the social economy in the European Union. It focuses on three areas: firstly, the social economy and the emergent concepts/movements related to it, secondly, the public policies adopted in both the EU and the member states in recent years to enhance the social economy sector and thirdly, measuring the weight of the social economy in each EU member country.
This Report shows that the European social economy provides over 13.6 million paid jobs in Europe, accounting for 6.3% of the total EU working population of the EU-28. Despite its size, the social economy remains invisible in the national accounts and statistics around Europe, a hurdle that constitutes another major challenge, although efforts have been made during the last two decades.
The new concepts and approaches related to the social economy that have emerged in Europe, such as social enterprises, social innovation, collaborative economy, economy of the common good, circular economy and corporate social responsibility, have been analysed and the main public policies for the social economy that have been implemented in recent years have been studied. Special mention has been made of the Social Business Initiative (SBI) introduced by the European Commission.