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.
A sound system of financing sustainable growth, with a long-term approach, is the most important driver for restoring trust in the markets and connecting savings to sustainable investments, providing complementary sources of funding for SMEs and strengthening green and social infrastructure projects.
The challenges should be addressed harmoniously, through a joint effort by all, including actors in the financial sector, companies, citizens and authorities. It is also of utmost importance that in this field, the whole EU speaks with one voice and follows the same approach.
The EESC strongly supports the Commission's road map on financing sustainable growth, but wishes to make a number of comments.
It is important to make the financial value chain more sustainable as a whole.
The proposed sustainability taxonomy should be dynamic and updated on a regular basis. A suitable starting point would be the configuration of environmental factors (E), while introducing safeguards in the social sectors and in relation to good corporate governance.
The ten proposed actions are internally consistent and interact with each other. The right balance is therefore needed between them.
Keeping in mind resilience and stability of the financial sector, the opportunity of providing a green supporting factor should be examined. In this field the EESC agrees with the EP when promoting the inclusion of sustainability risks in the Basel IV framework.
The publication of high-quality, as much as possible harmonised, more complete, relevant, harmonised and comparable non-financial information should be pursued, to facilitate external controls.
To facilitate easier and safe access for investors, "flagship pan-European sustainable financial products" should be created, beginning with the "Pan-European Personal Pensions Products".
Communication about these actions of financing sustainable growth is extremely important if citizens are to be aware of what the EU is doing for them.
Financial education should be compulsory to ensure that people understand this new approach of sustainable finance and thereby encourage socially responsible retail investment.
The EESC highlights the potential of artificial intelligence for aligning the preferences of investors with the destination of investments.
The EESC publicly calls on the co-legislators to swiftly discuss and adopt the three legislative proposals stemming from the Commission Action Plan.