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.
Recognising that the EU has no direct powers in the fields of education or vocational training and that education systems vary between Member States; the EESC wishes to highlight a common European problem concerning the provision of Continuing (Vocational) Education and Training (CVET) in rural and remote areas across Europe, which needs to be addressed at the European, national and regional levels.
A new Pan-European agenda is required to encourage European institutions and national governments, along with businesses, trade unions and other civil society organisations, to improve cooperation so that CVET can be accessed by employees undergoing training and their employers. This should occur close to the place of employment and in environments compatible with it. Competent authorities should promote and encourage this cooperation and make sure it is adequately funded.
There is a requirement to develop new CVET and Vocational Qualifications for micro- and small businesses based on empirical evidence of the tasks that are actually carried out in these businesses. Training for rural businesses must be delivered locally, using ICT and other broadband delivery mechanisms. To achieve this, universal access to high-speed mobile and terrestrial broadband in rural and remote areas should be treated as "essential infrastructure".
The long-term financial support of local groups by national/regional governments will help coordinate the process of identifying and meeting local needs.