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.
Bringing the EU closer to citizens is a major challenge. Therefore, Group III met in St. Julian's under the auspices of the Maltese Presidency of the EU on 23 March to discuss the role and capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) to voice citizens' concerns and ensure that they are better supported by public authorities.
In the morning, the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg welcomed the EESC members and representatives of Maltese civil society organisations, who gathered together to take stock of Malta's major achievements during its membership of the European Union and paved the way for the challenges ahead. Representatives from different sectors of civil society (environment, gender balance, disability, youth), the media, and government authorities debated the impact of EU membership on the economy and the recognition of the role of CSOs in public debate.
The afternoon session focused on the provision of services and goods to citizens, namely the aptitude of SMEs and professionals to provide high-quality services to their clients, patients and customers. Representatives of liberal professions and SME organisations debated with consumer representatives and government authorities, amongst others, on ethical and safety requirements and the latest developments at European level in this field.