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 this initiative to evaluate the implementation of the White Paper 2011, but regrets the delay in launching the evaluation and the fact that it was only addressed to the Committee at the Committee's own request.
In future, the EESC wishes to be able to benefit from regular progress reports on implementation of Commission strategies and to be able to give its contribution in the area of transport. Furthermore, the EESC recommends that future strategic documents have a clear monitoring plan prepared from the beginning.
The EESC hopes that these evaluations will take the form of regular and dedicated progress reports at intervals enabling a real assessment to be made of progress, delays and their causes and, where fitting, possible remedial measures to be taken. It is important to assess in a timely manner what was achieved and what was not and why (e.g. co-modality, better situation with railways, congestion, social issues, environmental goals, etc.) and act accordingly.
The Committee supports the greening of transport, but stresses that the energy transition must be fair and – without denying its objectives – provide viable and realistic alternatives that take account of the specific economic and social territorial features and needs of all parts of Europe, including rural areas.
The Committee also reiterates its stated views regarding the White Paper, to the effect that curbing modality is not an option, that co-modality and not modal shift should be aimed at, that a green transition must both be socially just and preserve the competitiveness of European transport, including through full implementation of the European Transport Area, with full implementation of the Single Market. The EESC in this context also regrets the delays in implementation of the TEN-T.
The EESC, as already stated in its 2012 opinion, would like to encourage an open, continuous and transparent exchange of views on the implementation of the White Paper between civil society (business, employers, employees, users, NGOs and academia, etc.), the Commission and other relevant players such as national authorities at different levels. This will improve civil society buy-in and understanding, as will useful feedback to policy makers and those carrying out implementation.
The EESC reiterates the statement made in its 2011 opinion on the Social aspects of EU transport policy. The EESC urges the European Commission to put in place the necessary measures to ensure the harmonisation of social standards for intra-EU traffic, bearing in mind also the need for an international level playing field in this respect.
The new Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy – putting European transport on track for the future was the subject of an EESC opinion (TEN/729) adopted on 28 April 2021. The EESC again argues strongly for the implementation of all its conclusions and recommendations.