[Photo: 2019 Open day]
The EESC is unlike any other EU institution.
We are a unique forum for consultation, dialogue and consensus between representatives from different sectors of organised civil society, including employers, trade unions, professional and community associations, youth organisations, women's groups, farmers, consumers, SMEs, environmental campaigners and many more. Our mission is to give a voice to organised civil society in Europe.
Our 329 members all have jobs in their home countries, but regularly travel to Brussels from all over Europe to discuss legislative proposals and draw up "opinions" – documents setting out recommendations for how to improve those proposals to take account of the needs of civil society.
Our job in the EESC secretariat is to support them in this, and we are kept busy delivering on a wide range of issues and tasks, from diverse policy work to organising meetings, from human resources and finance to IT, translation and communications. We are a small body, with only about 700 staff, with flat reporting structures and ample opportunity to liaise with other departments and work on shared projects.
The Committee has colleagues' personal development at heart and offers lifelong learning opportunities in an inclusive and flexible working environment in which you can achieve your potential.
Curious? Take a look at some of the job profiles below…
Samar - Assistant, External relations (REX)
It is great to feel energised about going to work every day. The diversity of what we do at the External Relations Section, building bridges between the EU institutions and citizens in the EU and the Euro-Mediterranean region is challenging and exciting! This makes itself evident in the Annual Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar institutions that brings together participants from a range of economic and social councils representatives of employers, trade unions, other economic and social interests groups and NGOs from countries which are members of the Union for the Mediterranean. This gives me the diversity I need to do my job well.
Christian - Social media manager
I am Christian, working in the Committee's Social Media Team. We are three colleagues running the EESC's main social media accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, and coordinating all the policy accounts we have. We are a pretty young and dynamic group, trying to show the best of the Committee on social media with our laptops, iPads or phones. Social media is instant and ever evolving, and while we try to prepare, improvisation is our best friend! Try to spot us in a meeting - you won't see us in suits and ties… look for the ones in jeans and hoodies!
Guntars - IT project manager
I work as a project manager in the IT unit and together with our colleagues we create applications for in-house use. We meet colleagues, listen to them, analyse how they work and then do my favourite part of the job - be creative about how the solution will look, feel and function. We have people from 20 different countries in our unit - how cool is that?
Tatiana - Head of Unit, Interinstitutional relations
I am fond of my work at the EESC as it is extremely interesting and rewarding. Constantly in contact with colleagues from other institutions, I feel part of the European life and the policy making. I enjoy the multicultural and multilingual environment of our Committee and its small size, that allows you to know colleagues better and to create friendly working relations.
Hans - Head of Unit, Printing/Distribution
Is a career within the EU institutions attractive? Does it offer opportunities for career development? Yes, I am the proof of it! I started as an assistant about 25 years ago, to later become an administrator, and today I am in a middle management position in the Logistics Directorate. I often had the possibility to change job within the EU institutions. There is a variety of tasks one can perform: from HR to communication, from finance to policy-making. An attractive EU career? Yes, you can make it work!
Cécile - Assistant, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment (NAT)
At the EESC, when it comes to biodiversity, we walk the talk!
As part of the Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Section (NAT), biodiversity is one of the many topics we work on. Even though the core business of the NAT section is to give opinions on legislative and non-legislative proposals, there is also room for practical projects which bring our priorities to life. The "EESC and urban bees" project contributes actively to safeguarding biodiversity in Brussels and is reaffirming the EESC's commitment to a sustainable urban environment.
Teresa - Assistant, Training
I organise training courses and teambuilding for colleagues. It might seem that my job doesn't have a direct impact on EU citizens… BUT I enable colleagues who work with members to improve their skills and have a better working environment. This has a positive effect on their work, so in this way I am contributing to the European Project, of which I am proud. The EESC is a small institution, you get to know everyone and you don't feel like a number but like a human being with a name and a face. Plus, you can develop interesting projects, since new ideas are always welcome and encouraged.
Raul - Administrator, Foresight, Studies and Policy Assessment
What I appreciate most about working at the EESC is its dynamism and constructive involvement in EU affairs, including the intense debate on the future of Europe and other vitally important issues, such as sustainable development. For me it is also professionally very rewarding to be part of the Policy Assessment Unit, which helps civil society organisations to advise the European Commission on the future of concrete EU policies. Working on these topics frequently involves collaboration with colleagues from other units, which is an additional motivation.
Reuben - Head of sector, Plenary session and legislative planning
As a Head of Sector in the Registry unit, I manage all the administrative and logistical aspects of plenary sessions – a perfect showcase of the Committee's work that takes place nine times a year. Setting up the agenda is undoubtedly the most challenging part, as my team and I have to liaise with different units, services and institutions, making sure that at plenaries every debate and opinions' discussion run smoothly and on time. The other important part of my job is to manage the practicalities of the Members’ Helpdesk, where my team is always on the ball dealing with any requests Members might have. I knew this position was going to be a roller coaster at the moment I accepted it, but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.