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.
- calls upon the European Commission (EC) to implement the strategy by adopting a coherent, integrated and cross-cutting approach, placing SMEs at the heart of all key political decisions, such as the Green Deal, the Industrial Strategy and when shaping the EU budget and empowering the Recovery Plan for Europe.
- advocates applying multi-level governance. At EU level, a Cross-Directorate-General SME Taskforce has to ensure that:
the "Think Small First" principle is applied in all policy areas impacting SMEs, and especially for the Recovery Plan for Europe, the Invest EU Programme, the Solvency Support Instrument and the European Green Deal Investment Plan;
the implementation of the "Next Generation SME Strategy" and the Small Business Act is properly carried out and evaluated within the European Semester exercise and the SME scoreboard that has been created;
the Member States (MS) strongly commit to implementing the SME Strategy, since many EU policies have failed due to negative reactions, inaction or evasion, including gold-plating, at national level;
organisations representing SMEs and social partners have a central and greater role and can make constructive contributions, as this is somewhat lacking in the EC's current proposal;
the concept of ecosystems as priority areas for funding is only introduced after thorough consultations with the organisations representing SMEs at EU, national and regional level to guarantee that it properly reflects the actual situation of SMEs, as it seems to be too bold a step.
- asks the EC to draw up a "Next Generation SME Strategy", which must take stock of the SME supporting measures in the Recovery Plan for Europe to help them to mitigate the negative effects of the lockdown, social distancing and health security measures on their business and to recover quickly.