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 European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has pronounced itself in favour of a simple, transparent and standardised securitisation system in Europe. While Europe is still feeling the aftershock of the 2008 financial crisis, triggered by an uncontrolled and runaway securitisation system in the US, why is this now back on the table? Because a new securitisation system in Europe can still be secure, given certain conditions, and can create growth through the unlocking of additional credit.
The risks involved in such transactions should now be clearly understood and responsibilities well established before launch, following the whole chain from the issuer to the investor. This will unlock significant credit potential, representing an additional amount of credit of EUR 100 to 150 billion, and growth opportunities for households and SMEs who currently suffer from reduced access to bank funding.
However, the EESC warns that this still complex investment product must not be targeted at potentially "vulnerable" groups, such as small investors and consumers. For those categories, the EESC requests a formal prohibition explicitly included in legislation. "Clarity and transparency in securitisation rules on the one hand, and protection for the small players on the other hand: These products are only suited for professional and institutional investors.", says Daniel Mareels, EESC rapporteur on the opinion.
The EESC calls for appropriate supervision of this new system by both the European Central Bank and national supervisory authorities, and for an assessment after two years.