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 is strongly engaged in the shaping of EU development policy as well as in the discussion on sustainable development. One of the main priorities of the current EESC Presidency is sustainable development which is closely linked to development policy and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The EESC adopted an opinion in December 2011 in which it "calls for greater attention to be paid to development cooperation, global solidarity and the discussion of the Millennium Development Goals".
The European Commission is expected to adopt in early 2013 a Communication on the MDGs post‑2015. An evaluation of the MDGs will be made as well as proposals on how to go forward after 2015. Shall the MDGs be prolonged or be replaced by other better adapted goals? The discussions in the framework of the UN Rio+20 Conference on the setting up of Sustainable Development Goals and the possibilities to replace or to merge the MDGs with these are also part of the debate.
In the framework of the preparation of its Communication, the European Commission organised from June to September 2012 a public consultation on the MDGs. The voice of the stakeholders represented in the EESC is important for shaping future goals and strategies in the field of EU development policy.
The opinion of the EESC should consider different options and scenarios for post-2015 and develop proposals on how to involve civil society more extensively in the process.