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's 350 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 considers that ENISA's new permanent mandate as proposed by the Commission will significantly contribute to enhancing the resilience of European systems. However, the accompanying provisional budget and resources allocated to ENISA will not be sufficient for the agency to fulfil its mandate. The EESC recommends to all Member States to establish a clear and equivalent counterpart to ENISA, as most of them have not done it yet. The EESC also feels that, ENISA should prioritise actions to support e-government, should provide regular reports on the cyber-readiness of Member States focusing on sectors identified in Annex II to the NIS Directive and monitor the performance and decision-making of national certification supervisory authorities. The EESC supports the proposal to create a cybersecurity competence network sustained by a Cybersecurity Research and Competence Centre (CRCC).
The EESC recalls that the human factor constitutes one of the most important causes of cyber accidents. There is a need to build a strong cyber skills base and improve cyber hygiene also through awareness campaigns among individuals and businesses. The EESC supports the creation of an EU-certified curriculum for high schools and professionals.
The EESC believes that a European Digital Single Market needs a homogeneous interpretation of the rules for Cybersecurity and that a certification framework and schemes for the different sectors could provide a common baseline. Because different approaches must be provided for different sectors, the EESC believes that sectoral EU Agencies (EASA, ERA, EMA, etc.) should be involved in the process and in some cases, delegated to draw up cybersecurity schemes. Minimum European standards for IT security should be adopted in cooperation with CEN/CENELEC/ETSI. The envisaged European Cybersecurity Certification Group supported by ENISA should be made up of national certification supervisory bodies, private sector stakeholders, scientific and civil society actors. The EESC believes that certification activities cannot exclude a proper labelling system, to be applied also to imported products to reinforce consumers trust. With regards to funding, Europe should scale up investments converging different EU funds, national funds and private-sector investments towards strategic objectives in strong public-private cooperation, also through the creation of an EU Cybersecurity Fund for Innovation and R&D in the current and future Research Framework Programme. Furthermore, Europe should create a fund for deployment for the Cybersecurity, opening a new window in the current and future Connecting Europe Facility as well in the next EFSI 3.0.
Finally, the EESC believes a minimum security level is necessary for "ordinary" "Internet of People" (IoP) devices. In this case, certification is a key method of providing a higher level of security. Internet of Things (IoT) security should be a priority.