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.
The EU approach to legal labour migration has, to date, been very fragmented and limited. The EESC considers that European immigration policy should take a strategic medium and long-term view and focus on providing a holistic and comprehensive approach to open and flexible legal channels for entry into the EU.
The EESC strongly believes that EU labour migration policy should be linked to the EU's labour market policy. Consequently, this would require the involvement of the social partners in helping to manage the procedures for access and admission.
The EESC therefore proposes that the EU promotes, in dialogue with third countries, a new generation of mobility partnership that includes flexible systems for mobility and legal procedures for labour migration to the EU.
In negotiating these agreements, account should be taken of the various bilateral agreements that the Member States have concluded with various third countries and positive examples and good practices should be drawn from these agreements. Therefore, the EESC urges the Commission, and in particular the Directorates responsible for employment and immigration policies, to gather the current experiences between the EU Member States and third countries regarding regular access for labour migrants.
The labour market integration of third-country nationals should be supported by pre-departure and post-arrival training and skills-development programmes, as well as, specific job search support services. The non-recognition of diplomas and qualifications reduces the potential pool of qualified migrant workers from which EU employers can fill their vacancies, not to mention that this constitutes a crucial obstacle towards achieving the objectives of an EU labour migration and labour market policy. Therefore an effective recognition of diplomas and qualifications through formal and non-formal learning needs to be developed.