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 Social Investment Package and the shift in approach it represents.
The Social Investment Package could make a significant contribution to a change of policy direction in favour of more growth and jobs, if it were consistently implemented in practice.
The EESC agrees with the European Commission that the details of social policy are primarily a matter for the Member States. Given the significant differences between countries, the European Commission should play a key role in the exchange of tried and tested and innovative approaches among Member States and all relevant stakeholders.
The EESC welcomes the fact that the important role of the social economy, social enterprises, civil society and the social partners for implementing the social investment package is expressly recognised in the communication.
The EESC is critical of the question of financing for the Social Investment Package remaining largely unanswered. Without a change in the lop-sided policy of spending cuts, successful implementation of the proposals does not seem a realistic prospect.
The EESC therefore reaffirms its view that it is imperative that new sources of revenue for public budgets be identified.
Specifically, the EESC reiterates its call for a European growth and investment programme worth 2% of GDP.
The EESC calls on the European Commission to ensure that greater focus on social investment is also reflected in the coordination process of the European Semester. It must be made clear that greater social investment is compatible with "differentiated, growth-friendly" fiscal consolidation.