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 main thrust of Capital Requirements Directive IV (CRD IV) and the Basel III accord on which it is based. However, CRD IV will increase banking costs and this is an important consideration for EU business, especially SMEs. The Basel framework is designed for internationally active banks all of which should adhere to the framework.
The new framework brings together both micro-prudential and macro-prudential elements. On the micro-prudential side, there is higher and better quality capital, better coverage of the risks, the introduction of a leverage ratio as a backstop to the risk-based regime, and a new approach to liquidity. On the macro-prudential side, CRD IV requires the build-up of capital buffers in good times that can be drawn down in periods of stress, as well as other measures to address systemic risk and interconnectedness.
In the opinion of the EESC, new business models must be ethical and sustainable. Customer relationships need to be improved; business practices need to be scrupulously ethical and reward structures must be radically revised. All the actors were culpable as the crisis developed. They must all come together now to build credit institutions capable of supporting the EU economy in the difficult decade ahead.