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.
Emmanuel Macron introduced the French presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) by launching the idea of a new growth model. This new model should make it possible to create employment, reconcile economic development and climate ambition, respond to digital challenges and rely on a redesigned European financial framework.
GDP is the best-known measure of macro-economic activity. While it is used both by policy-makers around the world and in public debates, it was not designed to be a comprehensive measure of prosperity and well-being. Thus, other indicators are needed to assess and address the global challenges of the 21st century such as climate change, poverty, resource depletion and to promote health and a higher quality of life. Beyond GDP indicators should become instruments to not only monitor and measure, but also to inform policy development, improve communication and encourage target setting. Against this background, the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is currently working on an own-initiative opinion on 'Beyond GDP measures for a successful recovery and a sustainable and resilient EU economy'.
Both a sustainable economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and the need to address effectively the climate change will require a massive expansion of investments. To achieve this, reshaping the EU fiscal rules is indispensable. Against this background, the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is currently working on an own-initiative opinion on Reshaping the EU Fiscal Framework for a Sustainable Recovery and a Just Transition.
Building a resilient Europe - Civil society and the National Recovery and Resilience Plans
The Recovery and Resilience Facility is moving into its next phase, and the European Semester Group of the EESC is following the process. In this high-level conference we will discuss whether the national recovery and resilience plans will deliver as regards the aim of achieving fair, inclusive, competitive and sustainable growth and cohesion through the new growth strategy – the European Green Deal. Focus will be on the implementation of the national recovery and resilience plans, with particular attention on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the just transition towards a green, digital and sustainable European economy. The conclusions of this event will be forwarded to EU institutions and the "EU Recovery Summit" conference in Lisbon on 28 June 2021.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) played a central role in bringing the consensual views of organised civil society in the EU to the attention of policy-makers and contributing to the rapidly evolving economic policy response at European level.
In this regard, we believe that now is the time for the EU institutions to make decisive steps in approving swiftly the new Facility and putting in place the necessary implementation mechanisms at European and national level, so that the hardest hit Member States, citizens and businesses can benefit from the relevant EU funding when they need it most.
Against this background, and on the occasion of the first meeting of the EESC's Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) in our new term-of-office (2020-2025), we are organising a thematic debate on this issue between European policy-makers and civil society representatives.
The debate will take place on Thursday, 19 November 2020 from 14.30 to 16.40 as an online event, webstreamed live on the EESC website.
The event aims to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the European Union in the post-2020 era. The discussions will focus on the programme of the new European Commission, which will be taking up office in just a few weeks' time. The speakers will also exchange views on a wide range of topical issues, such as the challenges posed by new technologies, Brexit, sustainable development and the development of Europe’s Green Deal. The event will be addressed by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Chris Fearne and by leading local business representatives and stakeholders in the European institutions.
The European Standardisation System must become as inclusive as possible, to involve a wide range of participants (representative of businesses of all sizes, consumers and societal stakeholders such as trade unions, environmental NGOs, etc.) and develop close cooperation among partners (European Standardisation Organisations (ESOs), National Standardisation Bodies (NSBs) and public authorities at the European and national levels).
The objective of the event is to disseminate the main messages of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) opinions on the "Harmonised standards: Enhancing transparency and legal certainty for a fully functioning Single Market" and "European standardisation for 2019", to debate on progress and next steps how inclusiveness can be better achieved, by ensuring that all stakeholders are represented and to discuss solutions how their participation in international standardisation should also be supported, expanded and promoted.
As productivity continues to increase, providing highly-specialised and certified-quality products becomes ever more important for boosting economic well-being, more so than mass low-cost production. Moreover, the increasing focus on the integrated use-value of products and services now offsets the emphasis on the exchange value - the price.
This development is particularly advantageous for European producers: our competitiveness relies on our ability to provide diverse, specialised products, rather than on competing on price against regions with more extended economies of scale.
On 16 September, the Diversity Europe Group held its Extraordinary meeting in Helsinki (Finland) - at the Auditorium (Annex Building of the Parliament).
The meeting entitled Boosting EU competitiveness – 3 pillars for sustainable growth will mainly focussed on bioeconomy and climate neutral Europe, digitalization and infrastructure in transport sector.
Europe and its Member States have to deliver wellbeing to the citizens and this can only be done through investments and jobs. This means that the impact which taxes and tax measures have on investments, jobs, trade and growth must be brought to the forefront of the debate.
While the OECD stresses that all taxes have the potential to discourage growth, its analysis of tax structures has found corporate taxes to be the form of taxation that is most harmful to economic growth. Empirical studies confirm that there is a negative relationship between corporate taxes and economic growth.
In order to encourage a broader and more balanced discussion on taxation, the Employers' Group requested that the EESC commission, in 2018, the study on The role of taxes on investment to increase jobs in the EU – An Assessment of Recent Policy Developments in the field of corporate taxes.
The purpose of this seminar is to present the results of the study and to discuss the impact that various taxes and tax rules have on investments and jobs. The debate could result in recommending policy measures and actions that help to promote growth and job creation.