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.
I would like to register for the event. What should I do?
Schools and/or teachers must fill in a registration form by 18 November 2018. Students may not register independently.
How many schools will be able to take part in the exercise and how will they be selected?
Lots will be drawn at the end of November 2018 among the schools that have registered by the deadline. Only one school per country will be chosen to participate in the event in Brussels. The school will also receive a visit by an EESC member between January and February 2019. The schools taking part will be informed individually and must put forward the name of the accompanying teacher and the three students who will come to Brussels on 20-23 March 2019.
What level of language knowledge must the students have in order to take part in the workshops?
No minimum level of language knowledge is required. However, the students selected and their teacher must be able to express themselves in English so as to facilitate communication and discussion during the event.
How should schools select the students who will come to Brussels?
Each school is free to set its own selection criteria, which must be clear, fair and non-discriminatory. For gender equality reasons, the students selected should include at least one girl and one boy (apart from single-sex schools). The EESC premises are fully accessible to people with disabilities.
How can I contact the organisers of the event? How will I be contacted if my school is selected?
You can contact the organisers by sending an email to: email@example.com. The organisers will contact the school by email. You must therefore ensure that the email address entered on the registration form is valid and you must check your email regularly.
Is my school allowed to register more than once?
No, only one application per year is allowed. Schools that apply more than once will automatically be excluded.
If your school is not selected this year, you can apply next year. If your school is selected for participation, you will not be able to apply again immediately next year, but you can do so later on.
Preparations for the event
How should students and teachers prepare for the event?
An EESC member will visit the participating schools between January and February 2019 to explain how the EESC works and the role of the different European institutions in the decision-making process (the EESC member's travel expenses will be paid by the Committee).
Furthermore, a set of documents needed for preparation will be sent by email in due time, including a working document aimed at getting the students ready for the discussions in Brussels.
How long will the event last?
The students will arrive in Brussels on Wednesday 20 March 2019. They will have a chance to meet each other and debate on 21-22 March. They will return home on Saturday 23 March.
Who will pay travel and accommodation costs?
The EESC will arrange and pay for the accommodation in Brussels for the students and their teacher. It will also pay travel expenses for the international air/train connection from their home country to Brussels (including connecting flights/long distance connecting trains if needed), as well as the transport from/to Brussels station or airport and the hotel.
Will the EESC also organise and pay for travel to/from the departure station or airport in our home country?
No, the EESC will not organise, pay or reimburse travel expenses from/to the departure airport/station in the home country. The EESC will pay only the international connection to/from Brussels (incl. connecting trains and connecting flights if needed).
Will the EESC pay for a new ticket and additional hotel costs if I miss my train/flight?
If you miss your train or flight for any reason other than force majeure, the EESC will not grant any refund and/or compensation and will not cover the costs of purchasing new tickets, rerouting existing tickets or additional accommodation or subsistence. Please make sure you arrive at the station/airport well in advance of your scheduled departure time.
Can schools choose a specific hotel in Brussels?
No, the EESC will contact the selected schools and propose a travel and accommodation arrangement.
What is the role of the accompanying teacher?
The accompanying teacher is the person who will liaise between the EESC and participants. He or she will ensure that all participants receive the necessary information and documentation, and will be responsible for all the preparatory work. Should the teacher fall ill or be unable for any other reason to attend the session, he or she must be replaced by a colleague.
What is the role of the accompanying teacher during the time in Brussels?
The accompanying teachers will play a key role, bearing full responsibility for the students while they are travelling to/from and staying in Brussels. They will be present throughout the event and will take part in all the activities. It is important that they are able to express themselves in English.
Can a school have more than one accompanying teacher?
The project provides for the three students to be accompanied by one teacher. The EESC will therefore pay travel and accommodation only for three students and one teacher per participant country.
What is the dress code?
There is no special dress code. To get an idea of the general atmosphere during the event, you can have a look at the photos from the 2017 and 2018 editions.