European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)





The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), founded in 1957, is the EU’s main consultative body. The EESC is composed by representatives of business, employees and other interest groups (NGOs, academia, consumers, etc.) and provides European civil society with a formal platform to express their points of views on EU issues. EESC opinions are forwarded to the EU legislators (the Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament). It thus has a key role to play in the Union’s decision-making process.


Social and Solidarity Economy (SEE) at the EESC

The EESC has been active in the promotion of social economy for more than two decades and has played a leading role in increasing the political and legal recognition of the Social Economy in the EU through numerous opinions, studies and events.

Since the 90s the EESC has a permanent working group on Social Economy, called the Social Economy Category, which is composed of around 40 members who collectively represent the multiple forms of the social economy, namely: cooperatives, mutual societies, associations, foundations and social enterprises. Social Economy Category’s objectives include:

  • Mainstreaming of social economy in the EESC opinions
  • Cooperation with other EU institutional players dealing with Social Economy, such as the European Parliament’s Social Economy Intergroup or European Commission’s DG Growth
  • Acting as think-tank (i.e. through the publication of studies or organisations of conferences on topics relevant for the Social Economy sector)


Relevant outputs



Conferences and seminars

Other projects