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.
Innovations need a European approach and a European single market, in which the European Research Area, with a powerful R&D Framework Programme, plays a key role.
The Committee welcomes the Commission's Communication and welcomes the fact that innovations are understood and defined in terms of their broader ramifications – in other words, that they span not only research, technology and products, but also all human interactions and kinds of organisations, including social services, business practices and models, design, branding and services, as well as the diverse interplay between them.
The essential political task is to create reliable, innovation-friendly, Europe-wide boundary conditions and frameworks with sufficient leeway, thus relieving potential inventors and innovation processes of the burden of the present fragmentation and overloading of regulatory frameworks and bureaucracies diversified across 27 Member States plus the Commission.
The Committee therefore recommends concentrating much more effort on removing any obstacles opposing or hindering the swift introduction of innovations and the creation of an Innovation Union.