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.
Europe's energy markets and sector are in the middle of a large transformation process towards a low-carbon system with a much more diverse landscape of market participants.
This transition process has – in many countries – been driven forward by civil society organisation, from companies that produce solar panels at ever lower costs to local energy cooperatives supplying renewable energies to their members. Politically, Europe's energy transition is developed within the framework of the Energy Union strategy from early 2015 and has been made concrete through numerous strategies, legislative proposals, and communications, among them, most recently, the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package from November 2016.
What is notable about the Energy Union strategy and associated policies is that they recognise the importance and make efforts to "put the citizens at [the Energy Union's] core". This is, for instance, reflected in the European Commission's introducing of a definition of self-consumers and energy communities in legislative proposals, thereby establishing a legal basis for consumers to participate directly as producers in energy markets. In addition, the Energy Union strategy seeks to set up "an energy dialogue with stakeholders to inform policy-making and support active engagement in managing the energy transition".
The EESC conference "European Energy Dialogue: Debating Progress, Challenges, and Civil Society Involvement in Europe's Energy Union" aims at facilitating this dialogue by bringing together representatives of civil society organisations, experts and senior representatives of the European institutions. More concretely, the event seeks to foster an open debate of cross-cutting topics that have emerged from the EESC's recent work on the clean energy package, namely governance, empowering consumers, financing the energy transition, greening the economy, and the future (progress) of the Energy Union.
Each of the five panels will be presented with a number of ideas, experiences, and questions received from citizens and civil society organisations across Europe ahead of the conference. For each of the five panels, the panellists' short presentations will be followed by an extended Q&A session.
Please note that even if you cannot attend the conference, we are keen to hear your questions that we would present to the panellists if time permits. This is your chance to have your voice heard! Please send your questions via twitter @EESC_TEN or email EnergyDialogueemail@example.com