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 welcomes the Commission's proposal to amend Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), as it fits in with general efforts to monitor the EU's external maritime borders much more effectively than in the past. However, it would once again stress that time is of the essence in implementing the proposed measures.
The Committee welcomes the proposal to expand the activities of EMSA; however, it has serious doubts as to whether EMSA has the human and financial resources to perform these additional activities properly.
In the Committee's view, closer cooperation and information exchange between the three EU agencies in question, and between them and the national bodies carrying out coastguard functions, should result in an efficient and effective coastguard system. In its opinion, a cost-efficient and cost-effective coastguard system would enable Member States to forgo permanent controls and allow Schengen to be restored to its former glory. The Committee endorses using remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS, also referred to as drones) because it enables full surveillance, among other things in order to avoid the loss of human life.
The Committee strongly recommends amending the title of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in the draft regulations to read European Border Guard Agency.