The European Economic and Social Committee is a consultative body of the European Union, founded in 1958. It is an advisory assembly composed of social partners, including: employers, employees, and representatives of other stakeholder groups. The institution’s impact now extends to matters around social policy, social and economic cohesion, environment, education, health, customers protection, industry, Trans-European Networks, indirect taxation and structural funds. On certain issues the EESC works in partnership with the Committee of the Regions.
The EESC’s members include employers, trade unionists and representatives of social, occupational, economic and cultural organisations. They are appointed for a renewable 5-year term by the European Council, following proposals by EU Member States. The Committee has 6 sections of scope, under which activities are streamlined:
- Economic and Monetary Union, Economic and Social Cohesion
- Single Market, Production and Consumption
- Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society
- Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship
- Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment
- External Relations
The Committee is supported by a secretariat-general, headed by a secretary-general who reports to the president representing the bureau. Some 700 staff members work at the EESC. Since 1 January 1995, the EESC and the Committee of the Regions have shared some services, such as logistics, information technology (IT) and translation.