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 EESC organised debates with organised civil society in all Member States between 2 September and 2 November 2016. The debates were coordinated by three EESC members ('trios') from the country concerned, often in co-operation with the European Commission (15 debates) or the national Economic and Social Council (7 debates). Participants came from a wide range of employers' organisations, trade unions and other civil society organisations, as well as, less frequently, academia. Overall, close to 1800 representatives of civil society organisations participated in the 28 debates.
A set of key questions was used as a basis for the discussions in the majority of debates. The debates covered a wide variety of issues, reflecting the different national systems, priorities and circumstances. Following the debates, the coordinating trios prepared national reports which, in most cases, included Conclusions and/or Recommendations.