The compendium brings together all the opinions and reports which, over the last thirty years, have enabled the EESC and civil society organisations to strengthen participatory democracy and become an indispensable part of the European decision-making process.
In a Europe being pulled this way and that by numerous contradictions and changes, the voice of civil society and the development of a structure for civil dialogue appear to be key factors in shaping our future and solving the major crises that Europe is facing today (inequality, climate change, the rise of populism, migration, etc.).
In the past, the European Economic and Social Committee has played a crucial role in creating a European public forum, growing stronger over time. More particularly, with its contribution to the drafting of Article 11 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which gives civil society a key part to play in the process of European public policy making.
With the entry into office of the new Commission, the EESC has a window of opportunity to develop its role as a key player between civil society, on the one hand, and the decision-making bodies of the European Union, on the other.
Indeed, the EESC, through its creativity, its in-depth, hands-on knowledge of the matters in hand, its role as a link between the institutions and its ability to think ahead, is capable of developing responses that are tailored to the challenges of the 21st century.
It serves as an unrivalled permanent forum for civil dialogue and consultation. Therefore, civil society's involvement by means of the structure provided by the EESC is crucial in efforts to address the lack of public confidence in Europe.