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 EESC welcomes the Commission's initiative on binding pay transparency, but considers that the proposed directive should be strengthened in several areas and further measures taken to address the root causes of the gender pay gap.
In its opinion adopted on 9 June, the EESC welcomes the Commission's proposal for a directive on binding pay transparency measures, which will help workers to enforce their right to equal pay in cases where they have been victims of pay discrimination.
However, the EESC considers that the proposed directive needs to be strengthened in a number of areas, including the criteria used to determine the value of work, the scope of some transparency measures and the role of social partners and collective bargaining.
The "equal pay for equal work" principle applies to "categories of workers" which, under the Commission proposal, are specified by the employer. The EESC believes that it is crucial for there to be mechanisms to ensure that categories of workers are determined in a gender-neutral way, involving trade unions and workers' representatives, in accordance with national law and practice.
Further measures aimed at addressing the structural issues at the root of the gender pay gap should also include guaranteeing adequate and accessible childcare, awareness-raising initiatives, ensuring better representation of women in decision-making positions, and eliminating tax-related disincentives to women's employment. The full web story is available here. (na)