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 European Commission is proposing to revise the so-called Posting of Workers Directive from 1996, which affects some 2 million workers in the EU. Posted workers are employed in one Member State, but sent to work temporarily in another country by their employer.
The general view of the EESC Employers' Group is that the existing EU legislation on the posting of workers - namely the original 1996 Posting Directive and the 2014 Enforcement Directive which aims to strengthen the practical implementation of the Posting Directive - strikes a proper and fair balance between supporting the cross-border provision of services and protecting the rights of posted workers. It also ensures a level playing field between foreign and local competitors.
The Employers' Group acknowledges that divergent opinions exist on the proposal to revise the 1996 Directive, and fully supported the initial conclusions reached by the EESC study group, headed by two Rapporteurs from the Employers' and the Workers' Group, where these divergent views were adequately reflected.
The draft EESC opinion submitted to the EESC Plenary Session on 14th December, however, failed to adequately recognise this diversity of views, and sided in favour of the European Commission's proposal to revise the Posting Directive. Consequently, the Employers' Group tabled a counter-opinion which was supported by 1/3rd of the Members of the Assembly present, obtaining 94 votes in favour.
The final EESC opinion was adopted in the Plenary Session with 180 votes in favour, 84 votes against and 30 abstentions. After the vote, Employers' Group President, Jacek P. Krawczyk, expressed his disappointment that the Committee had opted not to support the consensual work of the study group but had instead gone for a one-sided portrayal of the discussion on posting, thus triggering the Employers' Group counter-opinion.
To read the Employers' Group text, please click on the following link: counter-opinion.