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.
The EESC endorses the draft directive. It is consistent with the Committee's GPO. There are also many aspects of the regulation which the EESC does endorse.
The purpose of the regulatory format appears to be two-fold: to introduce fundamental changes onto the audit market and to prescribe in considerable detail the procedures relative to company audits and the relationships between the board and the audit committee.
The EESC disagrees with the proposal for audit only firms. The formula to determine when an audit firm is disbarred from offering any non audit services should be discarded.
As in any EESC opinion, the position of SMEs has to be considered. If an SME has shares listed on a stock exchange, it is defined as a public interest entity and therefore subject to the extensive and prescriptive provisions of the regulation which are clearly designed for the audit of banks.
Little account has been taken of the EESC recommendation that audit reform should be integrated with the recommendations on corporate governance. There is no discussion of the way in which both statutory auditors and audit committees should improve stakeholder and shareholder communication.