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 new European Commission, which recently took office, and the guidelines it has issued on "A new start for Europe" will have a significant impact on the development of cities and urban areas.
It is necessary to reassess the role of cities and urban areas, and to ensure that it is better adapted to the tasks at hand. Making greater use of the resources of cities and their regional systems, exploiting the economic and social advantages of multi-level governance and promoting territorial and urban coordination of various sectoral policies could generate considerable added value.
It is important, timely and essential to draw up an urban agenda and to turn this into a fully-fledged European policy in order to address current shortcomings. With a view to laying the foundations for the urban agenda, a strategy for the European urban network should also be developed.
The "high-level" consultative body, which has members from all 28 EU Member States, and which was set up to strengthen the governance of the macro-regional strategies, could take on the chief role in overseeing coordinated, partnership-based governance of the urban policy.
The European Commission should develop the management skills needed to perform the duties associated with the coordinated implementation of the proposed urban policy and its monitoring and evaluation activities. The objective would also be to devise a consistent and effective European urban agenda extending to 2050.