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 winner of the Civil Society Prize 2021, "Grandparents for the Climate", has many ambassadors who support its work. Many of them are well known, but its most famous ambassador is Jane Goodall, the legendary chimpanzee researcher and the world's foremost expert on the species. Ms Goodall was chosen as the Grandparents' 100th ambassador in October 2020.
• Every computer that is refurbished instead of made into waste saves 144 kg of CO2. From 2008 – 2021 our Romanian winner, Workshop without Borders, refurbished and donated almost 25 000 computers - so try to calculate how many kilos of CO2 they have saved so far!
• The Hot Spots project of our Slovenian winner tackles urban heat islands in Ljubljana which, as recent projections have shown, is slated to become the fastest-warming city in the world. According to the projections, the weather in Ljubljana in 2050 will resemble that of Virginia Beach, US. The same fate awaits the whole of central Europe and the Balkans, which are expected to see the most notable temperature rises, with the climate in the region resembling that of Texas cities in the US.
• The Spanish association "Engineers Without Borders Catalonia" fights against energy poverty by giving voice to the fuel poor who make up 11 % of all Spanish households. Figures show that more Spanish people die prematurely from energy poverty rather than in car accidents. In 2019, the number of Europeans dying each year as a result of a cold home stood at 100 000, and over 50 million were living in homes with a leaking roof, damp walls or floors. The same year, close to 80 million people in the EU were late or unable to pay their utility bills.
• Our winner, the network of Estonian environmental NGOs, is promoting the shift to renewable energy sources by organising meaningful dialogues between all stakeholders. The EU champion in renewable electricity generation is Sweden, although both Norway and Iceland have so far had a higher share of renewables in primary energy supply. Malta has the lowest proportion of renewables out of all the EU countries. (ll)