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 report bears witness to European efforts to make Europe a better place but it also indicates the difficulty of achieving this. The crisis has increased economic and social disparities, worsening the differences between Member States.
Cohesion policy should continue to pursue its original objective, enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, of promoting social, economic and territorial cohesion, placing cooperation and solidarity at the service of harmonious development and creating prosperous communities.
In many cases, cohesion policy will be the main source of investment; it needs to be more ambitious, or even radically reviewed, pending an upturn in growth and employment. Cohesion policy resources are manifestly sufficient to solve the real problems. Alternative forms of convergence financing will thus have to be found to bring cohesion policy to a new stage.
Cohesion policy must continue to strive to promote economic growth and competitiveness, while not forgetting social objectives in support of smart and inclusive growth.