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.
Based on the feedback received from stakeholders in the five examined countries with the aim to address the identified challenges, enhance the effectiveness and relevance of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and ensure its alignment with EU policy goals and priorities, the EESC:
states that there is a need to improve the implementation of RRF reforms across countries. This could be achieved by providing clearer guidelines, facilitating collaboration among stakeholders and addressing barriers and challenges faced in different sectors;
calls on the European Commission and national governments to ensure compliance with the RRF Regulation as regards the involvement of organised civil society in the implementation phase of the Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) through formal, structured and ongoing consultation processes;
underlines, with regard to information flow, that there is a need for more detailed, timely and harmonised information on the implementation of RRPs by various intermediary beneficiaries and final recipients, covering at least the total amount of the contract, the scope and the conclusion. Moreover, the institutions responsible should provide clearer, routine updates on the implementation status, achievement of milestones, targets and disbursement of funds;
insists that the slow pace of project implementation, particularly in some sectors, needs to be addressed before it becomes too laten, and therefore calls on the Commission and national governments to take steps to streamline processes, reduce bureaucracy and provide the necessary support to ensure timely and efficient implementation of projects;
states that measures should be taken to simplify procedures, reduce administrative burdens and provide targeted support to enable SMEs to benefit from the RRF;
calls for greater flexibility in terms of project selection, allocation of funds and timing to adapt to changing circumstances and emerging needs, as well as an improvement in the coordination of the RRF with other European investment instruments such as the Structural and Cohesion Funds and InvestEU;
stresses organised civil society's call for the implementation period to be extended by the time necessary for all funding to be utilised;
highlights the importance of establishing more effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in order to assess the sustainability and long-term impact of the RRF, in which organised civil society must be involved;
argues that there should be an obligation to establish a monitoring committee (or similar bodies) or involve those already established in other areas, following the example of other programmes related to the disbursement of EU funds.
Evaluation on the implementation of the recovery and resilience facility - Technical annex