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.
3rd meeting of the EU-Africa Socio-Economic Actors Network adopts joint resolution
After the COP21 in Paris came up with a number of financial commitments by all sorts of national and international donors, EU and African socio-economic stakeholders gathering in Nairobi called for better information on and access to climate-mitigation funding.
Members of European Economic and Social Committee, representatives from networks of economic and social actors from all Africa, as well as international organisations, gathered on 6 and 7 July in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss access to climate funding and to compare African and EU approaches to legal migration. The 3rd meeting of the EU-Africa Socio-Economic Actors Network concluded with a joint resolution outlining proposals which mainly focused on these 2 issues:
First, profiting from the organisation of a previous regional seminar in Nairobi, the participants learned about labour mobility schemes in the East African Community, and confronted it with legal migration measures in the EU. They underlined the importance of migrants as net contributors to the economic, social and cultural development of destination countries, and stressed the importance of integrating migrants through appropriate pre-departure measures, and of involving the socio-economic partners in the management and implementation of migration policies. Opportunities for collaboration between the 2 continents, including youth policy, education and social protection aspects, were also analysed.
Second, the economic and social stakeholders examined how the funding measures decided at the COP21 to fight against climate change were put in practice. Multiple funds have been established, but information on these funds for civil society organisations, let alone access to them, is far from clear.
A group particularly affected by climate change is that of smallholder farmers, the backbone of African agriculture. Representatives who participated expressed their interest to see how the available resources trickle down to help them cope with the effect of climate change on their daily lives. Access to funding should therefore be prioritised for them, as well as for micro-enterprises and cooperatives, since they represent the main potential of growth and job creation in African countries.
Most importantly, it emerged that civil society needs to be fully involved in the transition towards a low-carbon economy, including their contribution to a new, sustainable model of production, transformation and consumption.
The adopted declaration will be forwarded to the EU, pan-African and regional institutions as input during the preparation of the COP22 that will be held in Morocco in November this year.