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.
In many places in the world inequality and poverty are on the rise, and their causes are manifold, as are the theories about their causes.
Previously, it seemed that it was mainly the jobless who were at risk of becoming poor, but it is the so called "in-work poverty" or "working poor" that seems to be on the rise making more people live on the verge of poverty despite having jobs.
Globally, inequality and poverty also have led to migration, fostering, inequality and tensions in the host countries.
Europe has reacted to these challenges by proclaiming the European pillar of social rights, a set of key principles aiming at a more social Europe. Its main purpose is to fight against inequality and poverty. The fight against inequalities is also linked to the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The panel will debate if the fight against poverty can lead to a victory at a time when the 4th industrial revolution has just started with unpredictable impact on our economies, our labour markets, our societies, our lives? Will the digital era help to improve the living standards of poor people or rather the opposite?
Although the exact consequences of the new revolution are still unknown, much will depend on how policy leaders will manage the new threats and opportunities worldwide.
Panelists will discuss what governments and civil society can do in order to support workers, entrepreneurs and companies to make the digital era a sustainable success for all people while also preserving the environment.