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 EESC welcomes the proposal and believes that this initiative is appropriate and necessary given that the processing, storage and sharing of digital data are becoming increasingly important both for the economy and for social and civic reasons.
considers it essential to adopt a harmonised framework of rules able to inspire citizens, consumers, SMEs and, in particular, micro enterprises to trust that their data will be properly protected;
believes it is important to provide for appropriate forms of prior consultation and negotiation with social partners, if data management and processing using artificial intelligence tools relate to the sphere of work; organised civil society has also to be involved when such tool affect citizens’ rights;
supports the proposal to identify national authorities responsible for ensuring appropriate oversight of the new rules and to establish contact points in each Member State to be accessible to all interested parties;
welcomes the proposal to lay down a regulation for organisations dealing with "altruistic data" management, and supports the requirement for these organisations to have legal personality as not-for-profit entities and pursue objectives of general interest, autonomously and independently from other organisations pursuing for-profit data management objectives;
considers recognising the usefulness of a cooperative model for establishing data management and exchange and as a tool for neutral shared data management; to this end it encourages the Commission and the Member States to support SMEs in order to take initiatives to develop mutual organisations for the management and exchange of data;
believes that the protection of personal data, together with the protection of digital identity and privacy, are fundamental aspects of data governance directly linked to respect for human dignity and fundamental rights.