The European Economic and Social Committee | EUNewsletter

EU institutions and bodies

While forming the European Union, its member-states partially gave away their national powers in order to establish a political community with a unified structure. There are currently seven official European institutions, which play different roles for the functioning and activities of the EU.

The European Economic and Social Committee

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) was established in 1957 as a forum to discuss issues regarding the single market. EESC is a consultative body that gives representatives of Europe's socio-occupational interest groups (employers, trade unions, farmers, consumers and others) a formal platform to express their points of views on EU issues. On average the EESC delivers 170 advisory documents and opinions a year. All opinions are forwarded to the EU decision-making bodies and then published in the EU's Official Journal.Thus, the European Economic and Social Committee has three main roles: - to advise the Council, Commission and European Parliament, either at their request or on the Committee’s own initiative; - to encourage civil society to become more involved in EU policy-making process; - to bolster the role of civil society in non-EU countries and to help set up advisory structures.The European Economic and Social Committee has 344 members drawn from economic and social interest groups across Europe. Members are nominated by national governments and appointed by the Council of the European Union for a renewable 5-year term of office. The latest renewal was in October 2010 for the mandate 2010-2015. The number of members from each country depends on the national population.