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.
Nearly half of all food gets wasted in the EU each year. This statistic is even more shocking when one considers that 79 million EU citizens live beneath the poverty line and some 16 million depend on food aid from charitable institutions. In 2011, in the wake of the economic and financial crisis, 24.2% of Europeans – 119.6 million people – were on the brink of social exclusion.
Food waste prevention and reduction strategies are vital in the wider context of food security – better resource management is needed to feed an ever-growing global population for example – but should also support the most deprived in society. In this respect, food banks can play a crucial role in the food donation process by recovering food from manufacturers, distributors, retailers or individuals (food still fit for consumption that might otherwise be wasted) and redistributing it to civil society organisations and social services.
Civil society's contribution to the prevention and reduction of food waste - Position paper – January 2015