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 original purpose of taxation is to generate revenue for governments, but it also affects other key policy areas, such as competition, employment and investment.
Tax is collected from individuals and companies and levied on income, consumption, wealth, property or certain economic activities. Non-compliance is punishable by law.
Taxation is a valuable device for public authorities because it can be used to influence the behaviour of economic actors. So Member States defend their prerogatives in this area, making EU harmonisation more difficult. It should be remembered that all European legislation on taxation requires unanimity in the Council.
The wide impact of taxation also means that from time to time Member States retain certain tax measures for reasons of competitiveness, even though they are generally recognised as harmful to the EU as a whole.
The EESC on taxation
The EESC argues that Member States underestimate the degree of tax harmonisation needed for economic and monetary union to function efficiently and that more progress has to be made. The EESC is in favour of more harmonisation and alignment removing tax obstacles to cross-border trade in the Internal Market. More and greater cooperation between Member States is needed to curb tax fraud and tax evasion, including aggressive tax planning. Regarding indirect taxes the EESC supports the creation of a robust single European VAT area.