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.
1.1. The Committee welcomes basic principles of the Commission's proposal, especially the three-stage approach of formal registration, an admissibility check of the subject-matter, and political evaluation.
1.2. The Committee sees its role in two phases: firstly, as a facilitator of embryonic citizens' initiatives, enabling those involved to network and possibly to meet, etc.; secondly, as an institutional mentor, issuing an opinion to assist the Commission in evaluating a successful initiative, holding hearings, and so on. The Committee will also take part in publicity campaigns.
1.3. However, the Committee does have a number of improvements to propose, including:
a clearer reference to the values of the Union as grounds for turning down registrations;
scrapping the requirement for various identity numbers when an initiative is signed;
using the residence principle to classify signatories;
extension of the time-limit to eighteen months;
development of open-source software for online collection of signatures;
lowering the minimum number of Member States to 1/4;
lowering the threshold for an admissibility check to 50 000 signatories;