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 Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Section (NAT) is responsible for a broad range of issues, such as the common agricultural policy (CAP), food sustainability, environmental protection, the circular economy, the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate change.
Air quality, biodiversity, waste management, fisheries, forestry, organic farming, food safety, animal welfare and civil protection are some of the specific topics we work on.
Besides its opinions, the Section also organises numerous hearings and conferences to gather the views of civil society. It has a huge network of contacts within the EU institutions, national authorities, economic and social partners and NGOs.
We are convinced that better agricultural and environmental policies could provide solutions to the economic crisis, which has had such a damaging impact on European growth, employment and purchasing power.
We need to safeguard the 40 million jobs in the agricultural sector, preserve our forests and countryside, and cut food waste, since one third of what we produce currently ends up in the rubbish bin.
With this goal in mind, the Section’s recent work has covered practical topics such as the CAP reform, balanced territorial development, sustainable food systems, the implementation of the Paris agreement on climate change and the transition to a more sustainable European future.