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 fifth SME Assembly took place on 18-20 November in Luxembourg. This well-organised, high-level event brought together some 300 participants from across Europe. Amongst them were SME representatives, high-level EU officials, and representatives of NGOs, academia, media, etc.
The EESC Employers’ Group was represented by Violeta Jelic, Vice-President of the Group, Dimitri Dimitriadis, EESC rapporteur on improving SMEs' access to finance, and Georgi Stoev, Member of the Group. They actively participated in the interactive and very innovatively organised debate on how to increase SMEs' competitiveness and improve access to finance. The EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Ms Elżbieta Bieńkowska opened the debate, stating her clear commitment to improving market access for SMEs, as they form the backbone of the EU economy.
The Employers' Group remains committed to continuing its current SME-related projects, and in particular to following up on the information report that it produced this year. This focused on improving access to finance for SMEs by implementing a special project consisting of a series of going-local events, case studies and policy papers.