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.
I would like to welcome you for this meeting and I would like to especially thank Leida Rijnhout from ANPED, Jeremy Wates from EEB, Denise Auclair from CIDSE and our SDO Chair Hans-Joachim Wilms for having taken the initiative to jointly organise today's workshop.
This workshop is exactly in line with what we had declared we would be doing to bring Rio home: we keep up the momentum for further promoting sustainable development, we want European civil society to be involved and we want to contribute with concrete proposals.
This workshop is also very timely: at a global perspective you will be working later this afternoon on establishing sustainable development goals now that we are only a couple of days before the first meeting of the open working group on Sustainable Development Goals. At a European level this meeting takes place between the very recent publication of the Commission's communication "A Decent Life for All" and the beginning of debates on the text in the Council and here in the EESC. And at EESC level your workshop takes place at the same time that we are holding our Civil Society Day Conference in our main building on the other side of the bridge!
I want and have to be very short and my message is clear: we want to implement Rio here at home, we want this to be an inclusive process with the active participation of all stakeholders involved and we want the EU to speak with one voice at the international level!
I wish you a very fruitful meeting and will be interested in the results of your joint debates.
Staffan Nilsson`s address at the European civil society workshop on Sustainable Development Goals