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 considers that the scoreboard for assessing imbalances should be made up of economic, financial and social indicators. Here, the EESC would point to the need to look at the imbalances arising from wide and widening inequalities of distribution within the Member States, which were among the causes of the recent economic and financial crisis.
The EESC believes that the scoreboard proposed by the Commission as part of the alert mechanism must essentially be considered as a tool for an initial evaluation, on account of the inherent technical problems of this approach (setting the alert thresholds, the "weighting" to be given to the various sources of imbalance, relevant timeframe). Consequently, it will, in any case, have to be followed by a more wide-reaching and detailed economic evaluation of the imbalances in the Member State in question.
The EESC is convinced that, with respect to measures to prevent macroeconomic imbalances – essentially linked to excessive private sector exposure to debt – the supervisory and control capacity that can be deployed by the European Central Bank (ECB), the European System of Central Banks, the European Systemic Risk Board and the European Banking Authority has been underestimated. As one aspect of coordination between these bodies, the EESC therefore calls for the groundwork to be laid to ensure effective direct or indirect surveillance of the banking system, accompanied by timely interventions to regulate credit.
The occurrence of asymmetric shocks in the euro area Member States means that tools to rebalance the macroeconomic system must be used. In this context, the EESC advocates assessing the potential of a more flexible and better-resourced Community budget system than at present.
The EESC stresses that effective coordination of European economic policies – capable of gaining strong democratic credentials with the European public – necessarily entails a stronger role for the European Parliament (EP), the Committee of the Regions and the EESC, in other words the institutions representing citizens, the social partners and civil society.
The EESC hopes that more intensive use will progressively be made of macroeconomic dialogue, so as not to leave the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances to the Commission and Member States governments alone.