On the 21st September the principal institution in Europe representing the voice of civil society got to see a renewal of its membership.
According to the EU Treaty, all 350 members will be renewed every five years. This time around, 40% of the EESC members may be brand new members bringing a fresh influx of ideas and energy to the Committee, building on the extensive knowledge and experience of the renewed members.
Each Member State was requested to submit to the Council a list of candidates, consisting of representatives of organisations of employers, of the employed and of other parties representative of civil society, notably in socio-economic, civic, professional and cultural areas,for appointment as members of the European Economic and Social Committee.
The 350 new or reconfirmed members of the Committee are scheduled to meet for the first time on 6th October in Brussels. On 7th October, they will elect a new President and two Vice Presidents for Communication and Budget respectively for a limited term of two and half years. The position of President normally rotates between the three groups of the Committee in turn (Employers, Workers and Various Interests). The two previous Presidents were elected from the Various Interests and Employers Groups.
Each member will join one of the three Groups with approximately a third of the members expected to join each of the Groups. Each of the three Groups will also elect their own Group Presidents for renewable two and a half year terms of office. The principal role of the EESC is to deliver Opinions on European legislative proposals and policies through the work of its six specialised sections and one consultative commission, covering a wide range of areas, such as social, economic, agricultural and transport issues. Members will also join one or more of the sections which will each in turn elect a President for a renewable two and half year period.