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.
In the framework of its own initiative opinion on "Blockchain and distributed ledger technology as an ideal infrastructure for Social Economy", the EESC organizes on 29 May 2019 a public hearing on "Blockchain: technology for the social economy 4.0".
The objective of the hearing will be to give the floor to experts in the field, but also to present case studies aiming at showing how Social Economy can benefit from this new technology.
The Social Economy Enterprise (SEE) model offers a framework for mobilising and enhancing newcomers' skills. SEEs facilitate the settlement and integration process for immigrants by providing them with employment or training and helping them with practical settlement support. Although they operate in different ways in different national contexts, Social Economy Enterprises have managed to define common principles of action – inclusive, subsidiary protection of the most disadvantaged people – taking a proactive approach to receiving migrants. In this way they have mobilised the relevant communities, activated networks and partnerships, and cooperated with central and local administrations to organise reception and integration processes.
The first European Day of Social Economy Enterprises brought together the EESC's institutional partners, as well as several stakeholders in order to have a comprehensive view of the situation, create synergies and discuss next meaures and actions to be taken in order to fully unleash the potential of the sector. The event entailed three workshops to allow participants to have their say.
The objective is twofold: on the one hand, to review the progress made in building an ecosystem for social enterprises and, on the other hand, to see what the next steps are for this enterprise model to be recognized and more widely disseminated. The European Day of Social Economy Enterprises is also an excellent opportunity to give the floor to the actors in the field by bringing together the EESC's institutional partners and a number of sector representatives as well as several stakeholders in order to have a comprehensive view of the situation, create synergies and discuss how to proceed from the creation of an ecosystem to a systemic change at European level.
The European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee held a joint workshop on "the impact of digitalisation and new technologies on social economy". The workshop was was be organized around 4 panels. This joint event's purpose was to contribute to the work of the permanent study group on "Social Economy Enterprises", but also to strengthen synergies between the EESC and the Commission in promoting the social economy agenda.
The present catalogue of good practices is a collection of numerous successful initiatives implemented by civil society organisations in Europe in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The information set out in this catalogue was brought together in the framework of the study "The response of civil society organisations to face the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent restrictive measures adopted in Europe", commissioned by the European Economic and Social Committee at the request of the Diversity Europe Group.
As the COVID-19 pandemic hits societies and economies, bringing a global and unprecedented public health and social crisis, civil society organisations (CSOs) are responding by providing frontline help and defending the rights of people across the world. At the same time, CSOs have faced themselves profound impacts that may harm their capacities to continue playing their central roles in delivering services, advocating for rights and protecting the most fragile, while safeguarding participatory democracy and civic debate in the near future.
During the years 2015-20, the the Social Economy Category has striven to promote and defend the interests of the social economy to the widest possible audience. It has sought to gain recognition for the substantial contribution of the sector to Europe’s socio-economic development and to the success of the European integration process.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has been actively involved in the European social enterprise and social economy agenda for more than 10 years and supports social enterprise growth and development as a key element of the European social model.