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.
A safe, robust and competitive clearing ecosystem is an essential part of a well-functioning Capital Markets Union (CMU). But we are not there yet, and European financial markets are put at risk by overdependence on services provided by third-country Central Counterparties (CCPs), especially in the UK. CCPs are highly regulated financial entities that help facilitate the clearing and settlement process in financial markets. While CCPs have traditionally served one market in one country, they have more recently expanded to serve multiple markets across national borders. In December 2022, as part of a larger package of measures designed to further develop the CMU, the Commission proposed a new European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) to enhance the clearing capacity within the EU.
In the opinion, the EESC:
welcomes the proposal of the Commission and its efforts towards strategic autonomy of capital markets, increased internal clearing capacity and a more robust clearing system, but expected a clearer stance on reducing exposure to UK central counterparties (CCPs) and more specific rules and incentives after Brexit;
asks the Commission to explain the specific definition of the term "urgently", and for the co-legislators to establish which exemptions are considered "urgent" decisions; asks for social, governance and environmental risks of CCPs to be included in the risk models; suggests that CCPs should be transparent about fees, margin calls and actions during periods of market stress; and considers that further action should be taken to reduce the time required to authorise or extend parallel activities and services with more transparency;
proposes that civil society be involved in the monitoring mechanism established under Article 23c, and that the EESC takes part in the Joint Monitoring Mechanism as an observer.