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.
The aim of this study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung is to review and examine the work of the Various Interests Group during the period of its current mandate (2010-2015) in the light of current challenges and the political agenda in the EU.
To this end, the study examines some specific examples of the work of the Various Interests Group in three key policy areas: sustainable growth and investment in Europe, promoting a social, inclusive Europe and participatory democracy and active citizenship in Europe. Each area is analysed by an expert who explains the initial situation and gives three examples for each topic, followed by recommendations.
Finally, general recommendations are made as to how the Various Interests Group and the EESC can bring structure to their work, and thereby improve their work process and enhance their contribution to European policy-making, particularly with regard to a more participatory and consultative process in which the views of civil society have a greater impact.
Reshaping Europe: Civil Society’s Perspective of the Europe of Tomorrow