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.
On 14 July 2022, the EESC will host an online event in the context of the High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF) whose theme this year is "Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
The objective of this event is to take stock of EU progress towards SDG 15 in order to come up with a new set of proposals to reinvigorate the EU trajectory through strategic and cooperative approaches.
The event aims to:
reflect on what has changed since SDG 15 was last reviewed in 2018, including in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic;
evaluate interlinkages with other SDGs, particularly with SDG 3 on good health and well-being;
discuss the challenges to reverse current trends (especially in the context of the Ukraine war);
explore opportunities to leverage synergies.
The discussion will also feed into the preparation of upcoming EESC opinions on nature restoration and sustainable pesticides use.
No registration is required. This event will be webstreamed live on this website. Viewers will be able to engage in the debate via Sli.dousing the code #HLPF2022.
The theme for the 2022 HLPF is “Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". As the world is struggling to recover from COVID-19 amidst continuing crises, the 2022 HLPF will reflect on how recovery policies can reverse the negative impacts of the pandemic on the SDGs and move countries on to a path to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda. This becomes even more urgent in the aftermath of the terrible war in Ukraine.
Before the COVID-19, progress towards the SDGs was uneven, both for the EU and globally. The pandemic had a significant impact on every aspect of our life worldwide, from public health to economic and social stability, creating additional pressure on already vulnerable population groups. However, some positive effects were also experienced such as a temporary decrease of energy use and GHG emissions, but consumption patterns are now back to pre-crisis levels.
The 2022 HLPF reviews in-depth five Sustainable Development Goals: 4 on quality education, 5 on gender equality, 14 on life below water, 15 on life on land, and 17 on partnerships for the goals. In particular, SDG 15 seeks to "protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss".
Despite this substantive policy-making endeavour, the 2022 edition of the Eurostat Monitoring Report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context informs that the EU’s situation concerning life on land shows continued and strong declines in biodiversity and species abundance, and continued land degradation.