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 welcomes the proposal for the ESF+ to improve merge funds and simplify procedures, but is critical of a financial cut in EU cohesion policy, and, as regards the ESF+, of the 6% decrease of the funding allocated to it. It calls for 30% of total resources for economic, social and territorial cohesion policies to be allocated to the ESF+ and for 30% of the ESF+ resources to be earmarked for social inclusion measures.
welcomes the proposal for the ESF+ to improve the merged funds and simplify procedures;
is however highly critical of a financial cut in EU cohesion policy, and, as regards the ESF+, of the 6% decrease of the funding allocated to it;
does not agree either with the elimination of the minimum share (currently set at 23.1%) of cohesion policy funding under the ESF+;
disagrees with the proposal of reducing the European co-funding rate of the ESF+;
calls for 30% of total resources for economic, social and territorial cohesion policies to be allocated to the ESF+, and, within the ESF+, for 30% of resources to be earmarked for social inclusion measures;
asks the Commission to further simplify the rules of the ESF+ for both managing authorities and beneficiaries, while ensuring that projects comply with EU values;
agrees that the enabling condition of active inclusion, under which Member States must have national strategies against poverty and social exclusion in order to qualify for funding under the ESF+, should continue to apply to all Member States;
recommends to use the ESF+ in a manner consistent with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD);
finds that partnership agreements and operational programmes should be subject to sanctions if they do not respect the obligations of the European Code of Conduct on Partnership (ECCP);
supports the revision of the composition of the ESF+ Committee, as described in Art. 40 (2) of the Regulation;
recommends to keep transnationality (or cross-border activities) as a major component of the operational programmes;
deems it important to establish a high level of funding for key action in the following fields: quality youth employment, gender equality initiatives, inclusion and employment of vulnerable groups, lifelong learning and up-skilling in the context of a digitalised labour market, strengthening public services of general interest, and capacity-building of the public administration, the social partners and other CSOs;
strongly recommends to improve the correlation between the ESF+ and the Country Specific Recommendations of the European Semester and
strongly recommends avoiding strict conditionalities that are not in the interest of the beneficiaries.
Follow-up to SOC/537 Tackling poverty and social exclusion