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.
In order to foster a food system transition towards more sustainable outcomes, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) (see previous opinions), as well as other experts and civil society organisations, have increasingly pointed to the need to strengthen food democracy. Given the urgency of the food system crisis and the need for rapid behavioural change, more effective and legitimate governance arrangements are to be considered in the new EU framework on a sustainable food system (FSFS) foreseen in the Farm to Fork Strategy and due for publication by the end of 2023.
This event will be webstreamed and interpreted into EN, FR and ES. Viewers will have the opportunity to engage in the debate using the platform Slido with the code: #foodgovernance.
The European Commission is currently working on the preparation of a new EU framework on a sustainable food system (FSFS), which was foreseen in the Farm to Fork Strategy and is due for publication by the end of 2023. The framework will set the foundations for the systemic changes that are needed by all actors of the food system, including policy makers, business operators and consumers in order to accelerate the transition to a sustainable EU food system, and also provide a frame for the future governance of food systems.
In its previous opinions, the EESC called for the creation of a "European Food Policy Council" that should be multi-stakeholder (encompassing the whole food supply chain) and multi-level (including representatives from local, regional, national levels).
The purpose of this own-initiative opinion would be to feed strategically into the Commission's preparatory work on the FSFS by providing concrete ideas for governance of food systems and meaningful and structured civil society's (including young people's) engagement in the development, monitoring and implementation of food policies. The opinion would build on previous opinions related to sustainable food and youth education, and create synergies with other related ongoing work, for example on the Rural Pact.