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 10th edition of the ECI Day exceptionally took place online and over two days.
3 June was a full day of debates on the ECI instrument, focusing on aspects key to making the ECI more powerful and strengthening participatory democracy at EU level.
While 2021 saw the first two pieces of legislation inspired by European citizens' initiatives take effect, we focused on how to ensure that the ECI achieves the greatest impact. We discussed how success is defined for an initiative, assessed the examination procedure and found ways to boost the impact of successful initiatives. We also explored the role played by the ECI in the EU's wider set-up for public participation, including with a view to the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Other sessions looked at lessons learned from case law on the ECI, and why citizens were more familiar with and made greater use of the ECI tool in some countries and regions than others and what we could learn from their experiences.
The programme included workshops geared to the organisers of initiatives, and covered matters such as online campaigning and fundraising.
On 4 June, the organisers of ongoing initiatives were given the floor to present their initiatives.
It was a good opportunity to engage with high-level institutional representatives, civil society organisations, ECI organisers and Europeans willing to get involved with ECIs and to learn more about how you can make your voice heard and impact the future of Europe.
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is a welcome instrument for participatory democracy at European level. Introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, it entered into force in 2012 and allows Europeans to make legislative proposals and participate in decision-making by connecting directly with EU institutions. It is a chance for them to discuss and influence key policies and it sheds further light on the public's view of the EU's agenda and priorities. The ECI Day is an important forum and platform where registered and future ECI organisers and stakeholders can exchange information and experiences and present their ECI and activities to the public.