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.
Water is a key element of my work programme, linked to both the themes of sustainability and growth, and solidarity and development, and the EESC will actively continue in the next 2 years its efforts to tackle this topic of vital concern at local, European and global level.
We certainly consider it to be an issue of strategic importance, and not only as an environmental issue but also as a key element of sustainable economic growth in Europe. Water is a vital resource for all human beings and for many economic sectors, including but certainly not limited to agriculture and the agri-food industry.
It is estimated already today that by 2030 there will be a gap between water demand and supply of about 40% . We are facing a major challenge for our world.
The EESC advocates an integrated, cross-cutting approach to environmental, economic and social issues in water policy, with a view to achieving sustainable development. Let me explain this by addressing the different policy areas concerned and the challenges to water policy.
Speech by Staffan Nilsson at World Water Forum12.03.2012