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 EESC strongly believes that genuine partnership which involves all partners and stakeholders of organised civil society in the preparation, execution and ex-post evaluation of the programmes and projects in EU cohesion policy contributes directly to their enhanced quality and efficient delivery. The partnership principle is an excellent example of how good governance can be applied in other EU policies thereby efficiently implementing the EU 2020 strategy.
Having asked for a code of good conduct, the EESC strongly supports the Commission initiative and agrees very much with its proposed recommendations. The EESC appreciates the support for the code given by the European Parliament (EP) and the Committee of the Regions (CoR); the EESC recalls, however, that partnership should be at equal terms for all public and private partners.
However, the EESC is deeply disappointed that the Council for the moment has deleted the proposed Code of Conduct from the Commission's proposal. The EESC calls for a joint action with the CoR to defend the Code of Conduct.
The EESC is deeply worried about the increasing concern felt among organised civil society with regard to the implementation of the partnership principle. Reports from some Member States (MS) show an on-going trend towards a dilution of this partnership principle and a decrease of participation by organised civil society. The deletion of the Code of Conduct from the Commission proposals is a major concern. In this time of crisis, there is a need for an even stronger commitment of social partners and other civil society organisations.
Letter by President Staffan Nilsson to the Ministers responsible for Cohesion Policy in the European Union on the importance of the Partnership principle in the Common Provisions Regulation