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.
Although the amendments proposed by the Commission will have the effect of maintaining a regulatory framework specific only to European Economic Area (EEA) registered airlines operating intra-EEA flights beyond 2017, the suggested amendments pave the way for EU-led support and implementation of the non-distortive global scheme Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) as of 2020.
The Committee endorses the Commissions' proposal (Proposal) with some reservations. If adopted, the environmental ambitions of the EU ETS would be lower than the full scope EU ETS and such a scheme could be somehow detrimental in meeting the EU's domestic climate targets and international commitments; but at the same time, the EU would credibly demonstrate its support for the global measure so that the global mitigation impact can be pursued.
EU action is required to avoid distortions to competition within the single market in aviation when implementing the global market-based measure in the European Union, while making sure that CORSIA's environmental integrity is as high as possible.
The adoption of the Proposals is required before the end of 2017 so that the preparatory measures for implementing CORSIA can be undertaken as of beginning 2018. EU-specific regulations should be seen and amended to promote global market-based measures. The Committee urges the Council and European Parliament to maintain momentum for the timely implementation of CORSIA in a uniform and non-distortive manner.
The Committee supports the balanced approach as advocated by the Commission, which maintains the leverage which the Commission has built up with the EU ETS, but addresses a global issue globally, and thereby reduces the continuing risk of carbon leakage and competitive disadvantages for Europe.