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.
points out that participatory democracy can only be additional to representative democracy, which remains the cornerstone of our political systems. For the EESC, re-strengthening trust in politics requires continuously improving the way in which democracy works in the EU, particularly by developing participatory and deliberative mechanisms open to citizens, building on the existing set of EU instruments;
states that experience in participatory democracy involving citizens' panels have emerged in all Member States, thanks, in particular, to the development of digital tools. Initially limited to local or regional issues, the use of citizens' panels to feed into public debates has gradually covered all policy areas;
as the established institutional voice of organised and representative civil society, it must be at the heart of moves to strengthen participatory democracy in the European institutions;
could study its new role in developing expertise on all issues related to citizens' participation and participatory democracy. In particular, the EESC Bureau could take decisions on issues such as the scope and methodology of the participation of citizens' groups in the work of the EESC, as well as the subjects on which citizens' panels are to be consulted. The EESC finds it useful to consider setting up a dedicated working group to establish any needed procedures, subject to availability of budgetary resources and following deliberation and decision by the EESC Bureau.