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.
We need the voice of workers to be heard loud and clear not only in the European Parliament but also in the Commission said Oliver Röpke, President of the Workers' Group. For this reason, the EESC Workers' Group organised on 22 May 2019 a side event at the ETUC Congress to discuss how we can ensure that the rights of workers are at the centre of the political agenda in the new European Parliament over the next five years. Participants discussed the challenges that trade unions are facing and how will they deal with the predicted success of right wing populist parties. We must regain the trust of workers, because nationalists and extremists will always try to profit from people's despair to gain support, added Gabriele Bischoff.
The panel, composed by ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini, Austrian MEP Evelyn Regner, and two European Parliament candidates, Gaby Bischoff and Nicolas Schmit, agreed that the trust of voters needs to be regained and that politicians should provide an alternative to the rhetoric of anti-European populists. Voters did not turn racist overnight; people are disenchanted and in despair, and nationalists offer easy answers, thriving on people's harsh living conditions, said Luca Visentini.
The EU needs to be a social project that improves the working and living conditions of all citizens and tackles inequalities. This requires fair and progressive taxation, the implementation of the Social Pillar, common minimum social standards and the proper enforcement of labour law.