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.
Recognising the urgent need to tackle the multiple economic, environmental and social consequences of food production and consumption, the EESC calls on the European Commission and Member States to develop a clear EU policy and implementation plan for building a sustainable, resilient, healthy, fair and climate-friendly food system, which encourages cooperation and mutual understanding among all stakeholders along the food supply chain. Better coherence and integration of food-related policy objectives and instruments (e.g. on agriculture, environment, health, climate, employment, etc.) must be ensured taking into account the three pillars of sustainability.
The EESC believes that a transition to more sustainable food systems encompassing all stages from production to consumption is greatly needed - producers need to grow more food while reducing the environmental impact, while consumers must be encouraged to shift to nutritious and healthy diets with a lower carbon footprint.
In particular, a transition to sustainable food systems requires a comprehensive food policy, integrated with a broad-based bioeconomy strategy, not an agricultural policy alone. Rather than engage in a polarising debate, interdisciplinary thinking is needed, bringing together the DGs of the Commission, a wide range of ministries and institutions in the Member States, together with local and regional governments and stakeholders across food systems, to tackle the interconnected challenges highlighted in this opinion.