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 proposal for a directive presented by the European Commission, through which the Commission is continuing to implement the measures included in the action plan to strengthen the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion.
endorses the move to include within the scope of the automatic exchange of information (AEOI), covered by Council Directive 2011/16/EU, information on advance tax rulings and advance pricing arrangements, which are used, in some situations, by businesses with cross-border activities to develop arrangements that ultimately erode the tax base in the Member States and undermine the efficiency of the internal market;
is against tax avoidance: although not illegal, it is an immoral practice allowing businesses that engage in it to pay, in absolute terms, much lower taxes than those paid by individuals or SMEs.
The EESC considers that the measures set out in the proposal for a directive may do much to reduce the income lost to the Member States and therefore recommends that they be adopted as swiftly as possible.
Information on advance tax rulings and advance pricing arrangements is very important and can help the Member States to trace artificial transactions. Nonetheless, the EESC would point out that proving that a transaction is artificial is often fraught with difficulty, and thus recommends that the Member States make efforts to ensure that the provisions of the proposal for a directive are transposed correctly.
The EESC welcomes the Commission proposal repealing Council Directive 2003/48/EC (Directive on taxation of savings income – the Savings Directive). Council Directive 2014/107/EU amending Council Directive 2011/16/EU covers all of the financial products, including those covered by the Savings Directive. The proposed repeal is aimed at preventing the parallel application of two standards, and simplifying the rules.