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.
Full text of the opinion at the bottom of the page
The Committee maintains that lessons need to be learned from recent economic and financial crises and a fresh approach adopted to ensure more effective supervision by national, European and international authorities and increased accountability of financial institutions.
The Committee supports the measures aimed at strengthening banks' capital structure and their ability to finance the economy.
The Committee draws attention to the difficulties that arise from the accumulation of regulatory measures.
The measures aimed at strengthening banks' capital structure include requirements for increased, better quality capital, enhanced risk coverage, the introduction of a leverage ratio and a new approach to liquidity.
A gradual return to the separation of commercial banking activities from those of corporate and investment banking seems desirable.
The new capital requirements, could have adverse consequences for local or cooperative banks, which are more SME- and micro-enterprise friendly.
If banks face difficulties in raising capital, it will be harder for SMEs to obtain the finance they need. A credit crunch and a rise in bank charges must be averted. The Committee thus urges the Commission, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the national supervisory authorities to ensure that the capital buffers of small banks are adapted to their economic model.
Europe will not be able to achieve the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy, the Digital Agenda, Cloud-active Europe, the Energy roadmap 2050 or the Small Business Act if the share of funding for SMEs falls following implementation of the new prudential measures.
The Committee calls on the Commission to very closely monitor trends in bank lending and bank charges to businesses and individuals.
The Committee calls on the European authorities to step up their efforts to ensure that the same prudential rules will apply worldwide, with the aim of achieving a genuinely global set of rules.