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.
Current: European Migration Forum – The Key Role of Civil Society in Shaping EU Migration Policies
European Migration Forum – The Key Role of Civil Society in Shaping EU Migration Policies
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The 8th European Migration Forum (EMF), organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, explored questions around migrants' vulnerabilities, bridging the skills gap and countering prejudice surrounding migration.
A key point in the discussions was how to ease legal pathways to attract much-needed talent. In the face of Europe's growing labour shortage, the European Commission has just unveiled the Mobility Toolbox, a toolkit designed to facilitate the integration of third country nationals into the workforce. With 3.5 million migrants arriving legally in the EU last year, 1.2 million specifically for labour purposes, effective integration strategies will be of crucial importance.
The EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, provided updates on critical policy initiatives and the current state of affairs in Europe. Never underestimate the skills and potential that migrants bring", she emphasised. "Integration is not about assimilating into a country; it's about becoming part of a community. And that's where civil society plays a pivotal role.
While the Mobility Toolbox marks a positive step forward, participants in the forum called for a more comprehensive approach. This includes streamlined recognition processes for foreign qualifications, access to language courses, and vocational training at both national and regional levels.
The President of the EESC, Oliver Röpke, remarked I pledged in my manifesto to 'stand up for democracy', which at its core is all about values of freedom, tolerance, equality, and respect. The narratives around migration must be grounded in these values to fight disinformation.
Fostering a welcoming and supportive environment for migrants is essential to their successful integration into the labour market. This involves combating discrimination and xenophobia, promoting intercultural understanding, and ensuring access to essential services such as housing and healthcare.