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.
When NextGenerationEU and the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) were set up, the EESC's European Semester Group (ESG) welcomed them and stressed the need to link these tools to the European semester's policy framework, the functioning of which would probably need to be overhauled as a result of the introduction of these new tools. Furthermore, the ESG continues to see these tools as an effective way of taking European integration one step forward, while at the same time pointing out means of overcoming the crises currently facing the European Union.
Indeed, in the current context, marked by multiple crises, such as the climate crisis, the disastrous consequences of the health crisis, the war in Ukraine, and supply bottlenecks and the resulting inflation, the European Union is faced with many challenges. As a result, the need for strong macroeconomic governance is higher than ever and it is essential that we adapt our tools, including the European semester, which plays a new key role through the implementation of the RRF. In addition, the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) are a key tool for implementing the semester, as they address an important subset of the challenges identified in the country-specific recommendations. Therefore, progress in implementing these plans is intrinsically linked to the follow-up on the semester's recommendations.
To this end, the European Semester Group is bringing together speakers from the EU institutions, organised civil society, the Member States and research institutes for its annual conference on Reforming the European semester for a resilient, sustainable and inclusive Europe – Tackling present and future challenges, to be held from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday 3 June 2022 in order to hold an interactive discussion on the future role of the European semester in the light of the developments of the last two years and, in particular, how organised civil society can contribute to making it a success. Following the ESG's assessment of the NRRPs and of organised civil society's role in them, the ESG calls for organised civil society involvement in the European semester to be strengthened, including through procedures guaranteed by a European standard. According to the ESG, the reform of the semester should aim to provide greater economic governance capacity to the EU and the euro area, while ensuring a greater degree of democratic control and social involvement.
We hope to see many of you on 3 June!
The conference will take place on Friday, 3 June 2022 from 09:30 to 13:00 as a hybrid event.
Participation to the conference is open to the interested public via webstream.