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 EESC believes that the imbalance between the three dimensions of freedom, security and justice is reflected in the financial perspectives as Security accounts for most of the budget.
The EESC is not convinced that the Commission's proposal has been sufficiently designed to respect the principles of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the EC Treaty as there does not appear to be sufficient recognition of the areas that are best addressed at the national, regional and/or local level, in cooperation with the relevant social partners.
The Commission refers to more concerted action against racism, xenophobia and anti-semitism and suggests greater support to interfaith and multicultural forms of dialogue to fight them. The EESC recommends that islamophobia be added to reinforce the need to address this particular form of racism where culture intersects with religion.
Finally, there is a risk that violence against children, women and young persons and trafficking for sexual exploitation will be downgraded as this is combined with the fight against drug use and trafficking, especially as the allocation of the budget between the programmes has not yet been ratified. The EESC recommends that a separate objective and budget line be developed for combating violence