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.
Some 42% of Europe's older population report that age discrimination is prevalent in their country, with ageism peaking in the workplace. As the proportion of people over 65 is set to steadily rise in the coming decades, the EU is in dire need of a comprehensive strategy which will allow for a fundamental change, both in policies and in society's perception of older people
Europe's care sector will be barely capable of responding to the growing care demands of its ageing population. It is in dire need of major investments and a shift in policy-making, which should ensure that care workers are properly paid, have regulated working hours and receive adequate support. To achieve this, EU action will not be enough, and political will at national level will be crucial, an EESC hearing said.
The EESC firmly believes that a care model for dependent older people with long-term care needs should be mainstreamed into EU policymaking, given that the proportion of the population aged over 80 is expected to more than double by 2050. The pandemic revealed failures and shortcomings in this area, which must be addressed fast. The Commission's initiative to establish a new European Care Strategy is a step in this direction, but consultative institutions and European civil society organisations representing older people have to have a say.
The EESC held the fourth of its Going Local meetings on the live-in care sector in the EU, this time in Poland. The country provides much of the sector's workforce in western EU Member States, but has itself started to face a serious shortage of qualified carers in recent years