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.
Digitalisation is on everyone’s lips, often spoken of as an irresistible force for change. We are told that in its scale, speed and complexity, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) is unlike anything humankind has experienced before. These changes are transforming the nature of work and the individual behaviour of users in Europe without regard for the role and place of the human factor.
Nevertheless, all transport modes and logistics are affected by automation and digitalisation. Pessimistic estimations predict job losses in the overall economy of between 40 and 50%, while more optimistic estimations vary between 8 and 10%. Entire professions - such as drivers and dockers - might disappear in the transport sector. Transport services in a closed and predictable environment are first to be affected, including all repetitive tasks that can be easily programmed and taken over by computers or robots. New jobs will involve supervising computers and programming. Trends towards both the disqualification of jobs, for instance in maintenance, and the up-skilling of jobs are possible. Potentially, there should be more opportunities for work in customer care and customer services. Digitalisation allows for more effective de-localisation of transport service jobs, as even the supervising of machines or vessels, trains and trucks can be de-localised. Digitalisation also has a huge impact on health & safety at work (psychosocial risks): permanent connectivity and higher potential for performance control and supervision. There is a problem regarding workers’ data protection.