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.
Water is a vital but an increasingly scarce resource. Inadequate freshwater supplies are putting an increasing strain on human communities, especially the poor. Globally, 2.2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water. Without action, water poverty could concern ever larger parts of civil societies around the world, with far-reaching implications for economic, social, and political stability. The problem is global, but also concerns our continent: in summer 2022 Europe saw the most severe droughts in 500 years and other recent crisis such as floods, but also heatwaves and fires, have revealed the immediate consequences of climate change. Almost two thirds of European citizens consider water quality and/or quantity in their country to be a serious problem.
Considering the challenges at stake, the current EU policy framework is not fit for purpose. The EESC wants to call on the European Commission to start addressing water as a priority at European scale. The objective will be formalised in an umbrella opinion calling on European Institutions for a "Blue Deal": a radical effort to anticipate needs, to preserve water resources and adequately manage related challenges through a comprehensive and coordinated roadmap, setting ambitious targets and actions linked to agreed milestones.
The opinion will provide few but meaningful and concrete recommendations, reflecting the contributions made in the sections' and CCMI own-initiative opinions addressing the Blue Deal from their respective perspectives.
Key questions to be addressed by this opinion notably include:
Global challenges at stake: scarcity and preservation of fresh water resources and geopolitics of water
Sustainable water management (water consumption and wastewater produced by households, public administration, agriculture and industries, water-efficient technologies and water distribution networks and infrastructures
Economics of water: water pricing, water poverty and water investment gap