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 proposes that the Council's work on this directive take priority over the Directive on highly qualified employment (COM(2007) 637), and the other sectoral directives, and also proposes that the Commission speed up its work on the other directives on admission that it has planned for the coming months (covering seasonal workers, remunerated trainees and intra-corporate transferees).
The Committee hopes that the EU will have adequate, sufficiently harmonised legislation so that immigration can be channelled through legal, flexible, transparent procedures, in which third-country nationals are fairly treated, with comparable rights and obligations to EU citizens.
The rights and obligations for third-country nationals contained in the proposed directive, based on equal treatment as regards salaries, working conditions, freedom of association, education and vocational training, represent a good starting point for future immigration legislation.
With regard to rights, the EESC feels that the starting point for this debate must be the principle of non-discrimination.