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.
This own-initiative opinion will draw upon the first-hand experiences of the non-state actors (civil society, business and trade unions) engaged in the accession negotiations between Croatia and the EU over the period 2005-11, as well as experiences of EESC members who have been engaged in the work of Joint Consultative Committees (JCCs) with accession countries over the past seven years (Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Montenegro) as well as the Western Balkans Follow-up Committee.
This critical assessment will provide a basis for formulating recommendations for the EU institutions, national governments and parliaments as well as business, trade unions and civil society actors, on ensuring greater transparency and inclusiveness of the ongoing and upcoming accession negotiation processes.
The opinion will also address the challenge of timely information sharing with the business community about legislative changes and expected costs of adjustment. Specific recommendations will relate to minimum standards of public communication, access to information and consultations with civil society expected from the governments of candidate countries as well as from the European Commission and the Council of the EU.