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 welcomes the Commission’s Annual Growth Survey (AGS) 2015 with its conceptual objective of promoting suitable growth levels to support Europe’s recovery. The three pillars approach – boosting investment, structural reforms and responsive fiscal and budget consolidation - seems to be a good response to Europe’s needs. However there are still some weaknesses in the process, bearing in mind that the AGS does not cover sufficiently social and environmental aspects.
In view of the Investment Plan for Europe, it is crucial to establish appropriate conditions for partnership-based investment involving both the private and public sectors. Here social investment can play a critical role in the promotion of welfare and the eradication of poverty and exclusion.
The EESC believes that fiscal responsibility is needed from all Member States and it should be directly linked with employment promotion and social accountability. The Committee supports growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and asks – where possible – the Member States to reduce the tax burden imposed by austerity policies to re-stimulate private investment without neglecting smart public investment.
The EESC welcomes the streamlining of the European Semester, but cautions that a new 'civil society calendar' must be implemented. The Committee underlines that the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy should be published in a timely manner in order to give stakeholders sufficient time to prepare their positions.