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.
L'avis exploratoire surle Programme pour une réglementation affûtée et performante (REFIT)(Rapporteur:M. DenisMEYNENT),a été adopté parle CESElors de saséance plénièredu 26 mai2016.Cette opinionfait suite à unedemande directe dupremier Vice-présidentde la Commission européenne,M.Timmermans,leCESEest considéré commebien placé pourévaluer les coûtset les avantages desrègles actuellespour les parties prenanteset de proposer desprioritésde REFIT -en particulier dans les domaines del'entreprise, de l'industrieet des affaires sociales-en vue detrouver des moyens plus simplespour obtenir des résultats.
(l'article continue en anglais)
The EESC notes the importance of keeping the REFIT programme's prime aim of enhancing the quality and effectiveness of EU legislation and drafting simple, understandable and coherent rules without calling into question established strategic objectives or being detrimental to the protection of citizens, consumers, workers, social dialogue or the environment. In the committee's view, legislation is vital to achieving the aims of the Treaties, and an essential factor in European integration. However, the opinion insists that the decision-making process should be smooth and relevant, and the bodies in charge of the legitimacy of the process must not by any means undermine this decision-making, which must remain sovereign and be protected from bureaucratisation. In this regard, the committee's opinion calls for the Parliament, the Council and the European Commission to agree on a common methodology on impact assessments, which could also serve as a prompt for the EESC and the Committee of the Regions.
Consultations of citizens, experts and stakeholders as part of REFIT should be as open as possible, but not be a substitute for consulting the EESC, the Committee of Regions and the social partners.
The opinion has also scrutinised other related issues, amongst them; the REFIT Platform, the Better regulation package, the ex-post assessment of the effects of regulation, and the European Parliament's own-initiative report regarding the annual report on the implementation of EU legislation by Member States.