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.
Taking into consideration the opinions voiced during the 6 January public hearing, the EESC advocates designing an optional regime which offers advantages in terms of "Better Lawmaking" and of a simplified, understandable and user-friendly regulatory environment.
This optional regime would be seen as a "2nd Regime" in each Member State, thus providing parties with an option between two regimes of domestic contract law. It would be defined at EU level and enacted by EU regulations, and would facilitate interaction between parties in the drafting process in order to ensure a high level of protection.
The issue of the legal basis for this lawmaking mechanism remains open, given that it may depend on the field of application.
The EESC is convinced that discussion should be pursued in greater depth at different levels, mainly in the framework of the "Better Regulation" exercise, with a view to contributing to the completion of the Single Market.
The EESC asks the Commission to pursue the study of this subject at theoretical and practical level, in order to define the conditions for its feasibility and usefulness, particularly since the 28th Regime is advocated both by Commissioner Reding and by the Monti report.
It also recommends that in their ex ante Impact Assessments either the Commission or the EP consider the "option" of adopting a 28th Regime for each new legislative initiative.