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.
At its plenary session in July, the European Economic and Social Committee presented proposals for the economic agenda of the upcoming legislative period (2019-2024) and recommended that they should form the basis of a new European economic strategy. The Committee's proposals seek to develop more resilient and sustainable EU economic policies within an improved governance framework for the Economic and Monetary Union.
Euroopan talous- ja sosiaalikomitean teettämän uuden tutkimuksen mukaan rajatylittävät palvelut luovat uusia työpaikkoja ja talouskasvua, ja niillä on myönteinen vaikutus kaikkien EU-maiden sekä erityyppisten – niin työvoima- kuin osaamisintensiivisten – työpaikkojen kannalta. Tutkimus osoittaa, että tiukan sääntelyn välttäminen rajatylittävien palvelujen sisämarkkinoilla hyödyttää EU:n taloutta. Rajatylittävien palvelujen osuuden pieneneminen yhdellä prosentilla supistaisi EU:n taloutta noin kahdeksalla miljardilla eurolla.
Change management, better communication on scientific evidence and, above all, civil engagement are key factors for the development and implementation of new indicators to measure people's well-being and societies' progress. This was the main message of a public debate that was held on 4 June by the European Economic and Social Committee and its Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion.
On 6 May 2019 the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) organised in its headquarters at Place du Congrès in Brussels a day of debates which focused on analysing the reform process of the Economic and Monetary Union, the various positions of the Member States' governments and some social actors, as well as the possible way forward from a situation that was qualified as a "blockage of the main reforms". In the six round tables that structured the debate, a total of 26 people participated, including keynote speakers, speakers and moderators. All of them were academics or officials of the European institutions.
Building up a more sustainable and resilient European economy and completing Economic and Monetary Union should be priorities for the next European Commission and European Parliament: these points emerged froma public hearing held by the European Economic and Social Committee on 12 April 2019.
The member states of the European Union must strengthen stakeholder involvement in their efforts to reform national economies. Together with a new long-term EU strategy for sustainable development, improved stakeholder involvement could help create a more efficient and inclusive European semester that enjoys the support of society and is prepared to tackle the challenges facing the EU.
These are some of the main findings of a public hearing held by the European Semester Group of the European Economic and Social Committee, chaired by Gonçalo Lobo Xavier (ESG president), on 28 February. This hearing focused on the state and outlook of the European economy and analysed stakeholderinvolvement in the European semester process. Through the hearing, the Committee wished to facilitate an exchange between national and European stakeholders and gather ideas on how to improve the European semester.
Statement of the President of the Employers' Group
On 20 February 2019 the EESC adopted an opinion calling for an EU framework directive on minimum income. The Employers' Group fully shares the view of the EESC that fighting against poverty is a necessity. However, for us the instrument proposed in the opinion is not the correct one. For this reason, the Group tabled a counter-opinion, presenting its views on measures needed to reduce poverty. The counter opinion was supported by almost 40% of the EESC Members.
A new VAT system for taxing trade between Member States must tap its full potential and limit any possible negative effects for the single market, says the European Economic and Social Committee in its recently adopted opinion on a proposal presented by the European Commission. Greater collaboration between national authorities and extensive communication by the Commission will be key to its successful implementation. Clarifications are needed on some proposed concepts and criteria and a common system for goods and services must follow as soon as possible.