Making the EESC the facilitator and guarantor of participatory democracy activities
This study looks at the Conference on the Future of Europe’s (CoFoE) proposals on European democracy and the role of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). It explores different options for institutional reform of the EESC to best serve its purpose and increase citizens’ participation. To do this, the study examines different forms of participatory and deliberative practices, the current functions of the EESC, and the roles and structures of selected National Economic and Social Councils (NESCs). The study concludes with recommendations for revisiting the EESC’s structure and functioning, and centred around the issues of communication improvement, points at which the general public should be involved, as well as digitalisation. As regards the structure of the EESC, a more targeted approach to representation and abandoning the tripartite structure is suggested by experts interviewed for the purpose of this study. The study concludes that new forms of EESC activities should be given the time, resources, and attention they need to be effective.