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.
On 4 November 2022 the Sustainable Development Observatory (SDO) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will host an online conference on the potential for an energy shift towards renewables in Europe.
The conference principally aims to assess how future development of photovoltaic (PV) systems and wind power plants (onshore and offshore) can be fostered to deliver on REPowerEU targets and beyond.
More specifically, it aims to:
Explore ways to support infrastructure planning for substantially increasing the share of RES use on the grid, in synergy with the energy industry and grid operators,
Propose policy options and measures to ensure that the upscale of renewable energies is socially acceptable and leads to concrete opportunities on the EU labour market, also at the local level,
Identify new resource dependencies that could be created by the massive upscale of RES (e.g in the case of solar panels) and the options to mitigate them
This event will be webstreamed and no registration is required. Viewers will be able to send questions live via Slido with the code #RenewableEnergy.
The conference will input into the preparation for the joint event of the EESC observatories "Accelerating transitions to build an open strategic autonomy of Europe" on 6 December 2022.
With the European Green Deal, the EU committed itself to become the world's first climate neutral continent by 2050, responding to the climate crisis and enabling European citizens and businesses to benefit from a sustainable green transition.
Facing the new geopolitical and energy market realities, we now have to increase our independence from unreliable suppliers and volatile fossil fuels and, as a consequence, the need to fast-track our clean energy transition becomes even more urgent. With the REPowerEU Plan, the Commission is proposing to increase the EU’s 2030 target for renewables from the current 40% to 45%.
A scale-up of renewable energy has many potential benefits, not only to curb climate change and reduce dependency on fossil fuel markets, but it also creates jobs in new "green" technologies.
Renewables are the cheapest and cleanest energy available. For example, the cost of solar power has decreased by 82% over the last decade, making it the most competitive source of electricity in many parts of the EU. The EU solar energy strategy as part of the REPowerEU Plan proposes new initiatives to overcome the remaining barriers.
However, there is still a great uncertainty about the actual potential for renewable energy to be developed within the EU. In addition, social acceptance (both socio-political and community acceptance) of renewable energy innovations is of utmost importance.