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.
With geopolitical tensions rising and global economic ties and dependencies posing an array of severe risks to open economies, Europe needs to address its economic security. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the proposal put forward by the Commission for a European Economic Security Strategy. However, the EESC underlines that the EU needs to strengthen its competitiveness, ensuring a well-functioning, more complete single market. At the same time, the Committee calls for EU businesses and other relevant civil society players to be involved in further developing and implementing this strategy.
Microplastic pollution has emerged as a critical environmental concern, with its detrimental impact reaching far and wide across ecosystems and human health. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) acknowledges the urgency of addressing the issue and supports the European Commission’s proposal to regulate microplastic pellet operations and emissions.
Article by Antonello Pezzini, Delegate of the EESC Consultative Commission on Industrial Change
Last January, European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton reiterated the need to consolidate an internal defence market to ensure our security. ‘We started with munitions for Ukraine’, he stated. ‘We now need to broaden this approach to include a large-scale European defence industrial programme capable of supporting the expansion of the European industrial base and developing the infrastructure needed to protect contested areas’.
The European Economic and Social Committee has had the opportunity to reiterate, on numerous occasions, the need to support the launch of a European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) aimed at creating an interoperable and integrated common defence system.
A group of TEN Section members was sent in a study visit to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on 1 February 2024. A very fruitful and interesting discussion took place on the EESC opinions on the Maritime Safety Package adopted in September 2023, the decarbonization of maritime transport, and working conditions of seafarers.
In a recent public hearing, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) examined the European Commission’s Defence of Democracy Package aimed at increasing the transparency of interest representation, reinforcing the resilience of elections and improving civil and civic participation. Representatives of civil society supported the overall spirit of the proposal but raised concerns about the narrow focus of the Directive on foreign influence and its potential repercussions on civic space in Europe.
The foresight portfolio has enabled the European Commission to forge closer ties with civil society organisations, making it easier to take their views on board and turning EU future policy planning into a genuine participatory tool.
While deploring all acts of violence, the European Economic and Social Committee's (EESC) NAT Section, which deals with agriculture, rural development and the environment, expresses solidarity with and support for farmers, who have seen their incomes reduced and livelihoods undermined following decades where farmers' views have not been taken into consideration, where decision-making processes (at EU level and in trade agreements negotiations) have not involved them and where the budget made available has not been aligned with sustainability objectives.
The European Economic and Social Committee's (EESC) call for an EU Blue Deal is garnering support from policymakers and civil society. This momentum is driven by a growing recognition of the urgency of addressing water scarcity and the potential of the Blue Deal to provide a comprehensive solution to this pressing issue.
To bolster small business growth in the EU, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) backs the Commission's Head Office Tax (HOT) system proposal. In its advisory opinion, the EESC advocates additional measures and emphasises the need for stronger collaboration among the Commission, Member States and representatives of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) for effective implementation and awareness.