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.
welcomes the Commission's proposals and recommends that they be swiftly adopted and implemented by the Member States given the fact that the excessive fragmentation of the VAT system within the internal market places unjustified obstacles in the way of small businesses' development;
endorses the Commission's objective of ensuring that the measures included in this package are for the benefit of the final consumer and points out that the "negative list" should not unduly curb Member States' freedom to establish reduced rates for certain general-interest goods;
would draw the Member States' attention to key aspects of the VAT system as applied to organisations and associations providing assistance to disadvantaged people. Therefore the Committee recommends that the EU institutions and the Member States exempt these organisations from the VAT regime.
agrees with the Commission's proposal to allow Member States to use two reduced rates of a minimum of 5%, as well as one reduced rate lower than 5%, and considers that they should be applied to certain classes of goods and services, as is the case in some Member States. It recommends that the Member States continue to apply reduced rates to certain classes of goods and services of general interest;
recommends that the Member States provide the institutions responsible for combating VAT fraud with the human, financial and logistical resources they need, in order to ensure proper implementation of the provisions of the regulation, as proposed by the Commission;
believes that the ambitious objectives set by the Commission in this legislative package can only be achieved if the Member States make the necessary efforts to adopt the definitive VAT system within a reasonable period of time.