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.
In this exploratory opinion requested by the Slovak Presidency, the EESC
welcomes the Horizon 2020 programme but calls for EUR 2.2 billion to be restored from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) back to the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme;
is worried by the reduction on funding for research into Societal Challenges as well as by the large disparities between Member States in terms of national funding for research and innovation;
considers the interim evaluation should analyse how Horizon 2020 contributes qualitatively to its objectives of fostering excellent science, addressing urgent societal challenges and supporting industrial leadership for greater economic and inclusive growth.
Furthermore, the EESC is currently preparing an information report on specific aspects of the mid-term evaluation of Horizon 2020, in which civil society will be widely consulted.