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.
A new agreement on migration is urgently needed at European level and, to this end, the EESC is ready to support the Commission's ongoing efforts. The EESC president, Luca Jahier, speaking in Brussels on 3 March 2020, made it clear that migration was a priority for the EESC, as demonstrated by the fact that the Committee had been very active in this area for many years. "The EU needs to take prompt action towards drawing up a new pact on migration and asylum, as well as working together with the Member States on integration. We need to establish a genuinely common asylum procedure that is reliable, flexible and efficient," he said.
Speaking at the debate organised by the EESC Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC) on the same day, Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, highlighted the Commission's current work in the area of migration and asylum and its intention to revive EU policy-making through a new agreement. "We need a new pact on migration and asylum, first of all because the most vulnerable depend on it, and secondly because our economy and society benefit from legal migration: our welfare systems need to be sustainable in the long term and our companies need skilled people," she said.
She then pointed to the importance of increasing trust and overcoming differences between Member States, so that national governments could find a common way ahead. "We need to be clear that migration is something normal. Each year, between 2 and 2.5 million people come to the EU: 140 000 of these arrivals are irregular – the equivalent of 5%. That means 95% of people are arriving in an orderly, monitored and managed way," she maintained. (mp)