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.
welcomes the proposal's intention to implement the first principle of the European Pillar of Social Rights and other EU initiatives aimed at making quality and inclusive education a reality within the green and digital transitions;
calls on Member States to ensure that blended learning (BL) is not detrimental to the social value of education or to the relevance of face-to-face teaching; as lack of access to broadband and IT tools, inadequate teacher-student interaction and a lack of appropriate learning environments during the pandemic have contributed to higher drop-outs, it is important that BL is carefully designed and deployed to ensure an inclusive learning environment for all children;
welcomes the proposal's emphasis that qualified mental health professionals need to provide effective support for the well-being of students and teachers;
considers that BL should be available for all students, to ensure their autonomy in the learning process; calls on Member States to include BL in their education strategy, following effective dialogue with the relevant stakeholders;
notes that well-developed BL needs to be supported by sustainable public investment; it should be implemented in curricula with a whole-school approach, taking into consideration the needs of teachers, students and their families;
emphasises the teachers' role in BL and welcomes the proposed measures to support teachers' IT literacy; calls for the proposal to support the right of teachers to receive up-to-date and accessible continuous professional development, which should be recognised in social dialogue and collective bargaining at national, regional and local level with the meaningful involvement of education social partners;
welcomes the fact that the proposal emphasises the well-being and attractiveness of the teaching profession; notes that combining face-to-face and distance learning requires creativity and innovation from teachers, and calls for BL to be designed in a manner that respects their workload and working time, coupled with a supportive learning environment;
calls on the Commission and the Member States to provide sustainable public funding and put in place a suitable legal framework to ensure data protection and intellectual property rights in education; welcomes the Commission's proposal to develop, in cooperation with Member States, specific guidance material and other concrete deliverables, based on evidence, peer-learning activities and good practice, which would help fill the gaps identified for developing a BL approach at school and system level;
recommends ensuring a democratic school leadership, to allow for effective independence for students and teachers to steer their own learning and teaching process;
draws attention to the importance that the implementation of BL respects the specific features of education institutions and priorities with regard to the use of ICTs.