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 welcomes the EU Urban Agenda (EU UA), the Dutch Presidency's initiative which will directly influence the lives of the 80% of EU citizens forecast to be living in towns and cities by 2050.
The EESC underlines that:
it is important to ensure that civil society organisations will be equal partners in discussions and implementation of the EU UA;
local strategies developed by local partnerships with knowledge of the local situation are the best way to effectively implement recommendations from the EU level;
cities need a mechanism for strengthening citizens. Only a self-confident and strong community will be able to deal with the challenges that are emerging. Therefore the EESC recommends including "Urban Communities and Citizens Participation" as a new cross-cutting theme in the EU UA;
it is essential that all regions of the EU are equally included (especially in southern and eastern Europe);
the EU UA must recognise the relationships between cities and towns and the adjacent/surrounding peri-urban areas which contribute to urban quality of life;
the EU UA should not be in conflict with or limit the development of rural areas;
it is necessary to ensure that measures to improve the situation in one area do not have an adverse effect on another area;
policy areas where the EU does not have competency, such as social matters, should also be included.