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.
In the face of intensifying global competition the Committee believes that now is right time to call for a new European Life Sciences Strategy that can ensure a more joined up approach to the industry ensuring that all stakeholder groups continue to benefit from this unique sector.
The Committee recommends that a new Life Sciences Strategy should have three elements:
- societal policy recommendations – focusing on the sector's contribution to meeting an ageing Europe's challenges of chronic disease management, as well as the need to reduce healthcare inequality;
- scientific policy recommendations – where serious effort should be given to developing a better coordinated, more strategic, pan-European research effort; and
- economic policy recommendations, where there is more explicit recognition that investment in healthcare, including in medicines, matters for all segments of society. The Committee recommends that all Member States work with the industry on agreements that could ensure all European consumers (i.e. patients) get equal access to modern medicine.
The role and independence of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) should be reinforced.
Europe should look to strengthen and consolidate its position as a global leader in pharmaceuticals, through partnerships that stretch beyond its own borders.
The Commission should include intellectual property as part of its forthcoming Communication on Industrial Policy for the Pharmaceutical Industry.
The Committee urges the Commission to act without delay to put in place a strategy for the pharmaceutical sector.