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.
welcomes the Commission's initiative: the existence of this third programme, in this period of crisis, is a positive message to the people of Europe;
welcomes the focus on a limited number of priorities and the increase in the ceiling for subsidies for Member States whose gross national income per inhabitant is less than 90% of the Union average;
shares the view that efforts should be made to improve the use of human and financial resources and warns against the temptation to cut budgets and public health services during this period of crisis;
considers that, where health is concerned, European added value consists of encouraging exchanges of best practice and disseminating the principles of mainstreaming health in all policies and combating health inequalities, poverty and social exclusion;
stresses the importance of prevention for maintaining a healthy population;
argues that, as there is a general shortage of labour in this sector, common solutions need to be sought;
considers it preferable to train the unemployed in these vocations rather than bringing in already trained workers from third countries and other EU countries;
stresses the need to give families and the community (friends, neighbours, etc.) the means to look after sick and dependent people;
encourages exchanges of experience in the use of online health systems;
considers that, in addition to the existing priorities of smoking, alcohol, obesity and HIV, new risks should be added, related to climate change, the safety of medicines and protheses, changing ways of life and eating habits and mental health problems.