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.
On 7th February, as we mark the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, the European Economic and Social Committee turns to political leaders, the European civil society organisations which we represent, and all European citizens, with a call: the call for social and economic solidarity, which is urgently needed across Europe.
25 years ago, Europe was in turmoil: the aftermath of the Cold War; the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany; the path of Eastern European countries to democracy, all shaped the zeitgeist. Yet, on this momentous day in 1992, the 12 nations of the European Communities signed this European Treaty, thus creating the European Union as we know it and its greatest achievement, the single currency.
Today, the geo-political landscape is also in turmoil: the Western alliance is questioned; Eastern Europe feels threatened; Southern Europe borders on conflict zones and refugee crises. Everywhere nationalists and populists are on the march, and upcoming Presidential and parliamentary elections risk giving voice and power to extremists. Brexit beckons; terrorism remains a constant threat; citizens ask for jobs, security and answers. The contemporary European idea is challenged as never before. The main elements of a deep and genuine Economic and monetary union are also still missing.
The EU and the EMU, both created in Maastricht, need to be deepened with a joint political narrative. In particular, the missing pillars of a deep and genuine EMU need to be put in place to ensure lasting stability and prosperity for the people of Europe. This is the number one priority today for businesses, workers and all other civil society organisations across Europe. Decisive steps need to be made towards a credible, ever closer and irreversible partnership among the EU's Member States.