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 EU-Turkey Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee was established in 1995, based on the mandate given by the Ankara Agreement. This body is composed of members from the EESC and members representing organised civil society in Turkey. Its objective is to contribute to the dialogue among civil society organisations in Turkey and the EU and to issue reports and recommendations to the Turkish authorities and the EU institutions.
The following topics were discussed at this JCC meeting: the state of play of the EU-Turkey relations and the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement; the state of the economy in Turkey and the EU-Turkey economic developments; social issues including employment and women rights in Turkey.
The meeting was conclude with the adoption of a joint declaration.
Turkey’s geographical position makes it a first reception and transit country for many refugees and migrants. As the result of an unprecedented influx of people seeking refuge, the country currently hosts around 3 million registered Syrian refugees and is making commendable efforts to provide them with humanitarian aid and support. The EU is committed to assist Turkey in dealing with this challenge. The EU-Turkey Statement, which was issued on 18 March 2016, reconfirmed both parties' commitment to the implementation of the EU-Turkey joint action plan activated on 29 November 2015.
A hearing will be organized by the EESC to examine different aspects of protection which Turkey offers to refugees, from the point of view of civil society organisations (CSOs). Particular attention will be devoted to evaluating economic, social and humanitarian conditions of refugees in the country and new areas of cooperation will be explored.
The EU-Turkey Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) brings together representatives of organised civil society from the EU and Turkey. It complements the other bodies set up within the framework of the Association Agreement between the EU and Turkey and enables civil society organisations from both sides to monitor the accession negotiations and initiate debates on issues of common interest. Its members come from various economic and social interest groups. This is the 35th meeting and it took place in Ankara.
The External Relations Section (REX) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is responsible for dialogue between European civil society organisations and their homologues from the countries with which the European Union has formal relations (e.g. under the form of a Free Trade Agreement). Through this dialogue, made possible by a series of bilateral bodies, and through specialized opinions and information reports, the Committee is able to concretely contribute to EU foreign policy.