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 opinion generally promotes the nudging approach as a complement to traditional public policy tools. It builds on recent developments in the field of behavioural sciences and in particular on the landmark book Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein (2008) which defines a nudge as "any aspect of the architecture of choice which changes people’s behaviour in a predictable way, without eliminating any of the options or drastically changing financial incentives". The opinion highlights the interest of nudging in policy-making, with in particular the creation of nudge units in a number of public authorities, including the US Administration, the French Government, the UK Government and the European Commission.
The opinion draws up a number of recommendations:
Encourage the use of nudges in public policy-making in conjunction with traditional tools, in particular when nudges can help reach environmental, social or other objectives connected to sustainability;
Promote the exchange of good practices and knowledge about nudges and help interdisciplinary research on nudges;
Identify methodologies and ethical rules for using nudges, ensuring in particular transparency, freedom of choice for individuals, reliability of information nudges are based on and avoiding any approach tending to make people feel guilty;
Envisaging the organisation of the first European Days of nudges at the EESC.