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.
feels that the decline in working capital lending to SMEs is a chronic form of market failure.
notes that to date the response from EU policymakers has not been proportionate to the problem.
welcomes the proposals set out in the Commission Communication on long term financing of the European economy and believes that they can, in time, contribute to a reformed and more efficient market for SME finance.
recognises that measures will take time to implement. The challenge remains what to do now and in the short-term to improve SME access to finance.
feels that a “one size fits all” solution may not be suitable.
points out that one of the most interesting initiatives is the Funding for Lending Scheme in the UK. It was extremely successful in boosting mortgage lending and lending to households in the UK and is now in solely at boosting SME lending.
sees the Funding for Lending Scheme as an example of good practice and recommends that the ECB give serious consideration to the introduction of a similar initiative in the euro area.
observes that on 5 June 2014 the ECB announced a set of liquidity measures to boost bank lending to SMEs. The EESC is pleased to note that the ECB's main proposal, called Targeted Long Term Refinancing Operation (TLTRO), is similar to the FLS as outlined in this opinion.
supports initiatives to remove impediments to more accurate assessment of credit worthiness and risk by lenders.