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 Committee considers it vital to develop practical proposals for action to ensure that the various EU institutions act, within their respective remits, to frame suitable measures for implementing Article 11(1) and (2) TEU.
The EESC therefore puts forward the following recommendations:
the European Commission should carry out a detailed study of existing processes for civil society participation in policy-making at European level;
the Transparency Register, which is operated jointly by the Commission and the European Parliament, should be extended to include the Council;
the European institutions should establish a single database with information on contacts, consultations and dialogue with civil society;
the EESC should conduct an internal evaluation of the effectiveness, relevance and perception of its cooperation with civil society organisations (CSOs), with a view to identifying effective improvements;
the EESC should develop a database with detailed information on which civil society organisations have been involved in its work and in what capacity;
the EESC should make full use of the new Protocol of Cooperation signed with the European Commission in February 2012, leading to greater involvement in the definition of European priorities, work programmes and key policies;
the EESC should undertake to review and revitalise its Liaison Group with European civil society, with a view to extending participation and helping to secure better implementation of Article 11(1);
the EESC should help to organise, along with all other relevant stakeholders and the EU institutions in particular, a large-scale annual event that would offer shared input to the agenda of EU priorities. The political impact of such an event could be enhanced by holding it in parallel with a joint conference of the 27 national parliaments and the European Parliament.