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.
The European Union is at its core a model of transnational governance based, inter alia, on democracy and the rule of law. There are two key findings from our survey: On the one hand, that civil dialogue is based on the primary or constitutional law of this Union and addresses the specific challenges of transnational democracy. On the other, that implementation remains a challenge.
Our survey and mapping of its results, legal basis and other relevant data clearly show that the status quo can still stand considerable improvement, as was stated repeatedly by the EESC. Nonetheless, in the area of "vertical dialogue" we were able to ascertain significant silver linings: most notably the openness of DG Agri (ahead of other DGs) and its approach of carefully setting legal rules for the dialogue's framework. Nonetheless, we find ourselves in agreement with the Ombudsman's call for a rigid conflict of interest policy, reviewing and monitoring scheme.
Based on our findings, we present a roadmap towards a single open online tool in order to save money, gain broad compliance and ultimately address the ongoing challenge of implementing the requirements of Art 11 paragraph 1 and 2 TEU.
Civil Dialogue and Participatory Democracy in the European Union Institutions