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.
Four years after the ECI regulation entered into force, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has pinpointed significant technical, legal and bureaucratic problems, along with a clear excess of powers attributed to the Commission.
In its opinion, the EESC recommends:
to simplify the existing rules, adapting to the actual possibilities of the citizens (the choice of the launching date, lowering the minimum age, recognising the citizens' committees legally, and providing the platform for the online collection system on permanent basis) and to clarify the existing registration procedure;
simplifying, reducing and harmonising the system of national standards laid down for the collection of data;
guaranteeing an appropriate follow-up for successful initiatives and by communicating with ECI organisers on the legislative changes and political decisions that respond to their ECI (even if partially);
separating the roles of the European Commission as institutional mentor and judge. The EESC would be a natural candidate for the role of facilitator and institutional mentor;
to raise awareness of the ECI mechanism and ensure a serious information campaign;
to set up an institutional forum on the participation of European citizens, to become a permanent platform for discussion and debate at the Committee along the lines of the European Migration Forum, building on European Citizens' Initiative Day.