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.
We are now approaching the point where, according to Jacques Delors, the European single market should have been completed, free of barriers or any kind of obstacle, for two decades. The time has therefore come to reflect on the internal market. However, this entails thinking again about the entire model of the European venture.
This is all the more essential at a time of particular upheaval, as Europe struggles with a stubborn crisis that is systemic rather than cyclical, and is not only economic and financial, but primarily a crisis of social and cultural values, from which the broad swathe of interests represented at the EESC sees no obvious way out.
Consequently, organised civil society quite legitimately has questions regarding the ability of the present EU institutional model as shaped by the Lisbon Treaty to handle this crisis; it doubts that the current economic and financial model is capable of effective and appropriate self-regulation and is greatly concerned at the lack of consistent and effective regulatory measures as well as at the proliferation of isolated and contradictory decisions from all sides; it wonders just how far the lack of control over the financial system may go, bearing in mind the successive stock market crashes with all the inevitably ensuing social and economic damage; it fears that the deep-rooted symptoms of the crisis, given the imminent danger of world recession, suggest that the European model in its current form may collapse and it has no confidence in the ability of Europe's current leaders to successfully regenerate the European economic and social model in keeping with the values and principles enshrined in the Treaty.