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.
A comprehensive EU food policy should, according to the EESC, deliver:
economic, environmental and socio-cultural sustainability;
integration across sectors, policy areas and levels of governance;
inclusive decision-making processes; and
a combination of compulsory measures (regulations and taxes) and incentives (price premiums, access to credit, resources and insurance) to accelerate the transition towards sustainable food systems.
The proposed strategy doesn't reflect those objectives sufficiently.
Fair food prices (reflecting the true cost of production for the environment and society) are the only way to achieve sustainable food systems in the long term. The EU and Member States should take action to ensure that farmgate prices stay above the costs of production and that healthy diets become more readily accessible. In order to do so, it will be necessary to deploy the full range of public governance tools, from hard fiscal measures to information-based approaches to make the true costs visible.
Without changes in EU trade policies, the objectives of the strategy will not be met. The Committee urges the EU to ensure true reciprocity of standards in preferential trade agreements.