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.
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Van Maerlant Building, Room VMA 3, Rue Van Maerlant 2, 1040 Brussels
Civil society organisations (CSOs) play an important role in fostering participatory democracy and active citizenship in Europe and beyond; EU funding is paramount to support this work. The goal of this EESC hearing is to present working solutions and come up with recommendations for revised financial regulations and the future Multiannual Financial Framework after 2020 that would enable better civil dialogue and easier and transparent access to resources.
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Jacques Delors building, room JDE 63, Rue Belliard 99, 1040 Brussels
The event will focus on the role of civil society in preventing radicalisation of young people. The debates will serve to clarify how EU policy-makers can help civil society practitioners to successfully prevent radicalisation. The first panel will cover different elements of anti-radicalisation policy, focusing on what is needed to increase success rates. The second panel will focus on the role of education in preventing radicalisation. Participants will share their view on what can be done to render more effective existing civil society initiatives aiming to prevent radicalisation.
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Jacques Delors building, room JDE 51, Rue Belliard 99, 1040 Brussels
The EESC has been working on an information report the aim of which was to investigate how European Parliament election procedures are determined in each Member State, taking into account the needs of persons with disabilities and how this affects their right to vote.
In this context, a public hearing was organized to present the first conclusions of the report and to look into successful projects and practices.
The ECI DAY 2017 focused on the individual involvement of citizens and their active role in policy shaping. It was organised in the context of the 60th anniversary of the Rome treaties, the first treaty to talk about European citizenship, in order to show all the positive developments of the concept and a number of new tools to involve citizens. The theme "I participate!" was to underline the importance of citizens' personal involvement in building up a comprehensive democratic system in the EU.
EESC's public hearing on the European Citizens Initiative in the context of the ongoing review process. Questions to be tackled: policy areas covered by the ECI and the validation process; the current political limits to participatory democracy on a European level; the role of the EU institutions and Member States in the process and a better defined support.
The ECI DAY serves as a meeting place and platform for the registered and future ECI organisers to meet and exchange information and experiences, and present their ECIs to the media.
The 2016 edition will focus on the ways of dealing with the identified difficulties, also to emphasize why the simplification of the rules is indispensable. The organisers will find out more about the help available, about what instruments are out there to maximize the impact of their initiatives. Finally, a broader context of participatory democracy in the EU will be drawn with information on the existing tools.