The advisory bodies of the European Union

Author:Ioana Nely Militaru
Profession:PhD is Associate Professor at the Law Department of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies
Pages:189-207
 
FREE EXCERPT
Chapter 9. The advisory bodies of the European Union
9.1. European Economic and Social Committee
9.1.1. Regulation of the European Economic and Social Committee
The EESC's legal basis is set out in the following provisions:
- art. 13 paragraph (4) TEU;
- art. 301-304 TFEU;
- Council Decision (EU, Euratom) 2015/1790 of 1 October 2015 appoint-
ing members to the European Economic and Social Committee for the period 21
September 2015-20 September 2020.
The Economic and Social Committee was established by the Treaty of
Rome (TCEE) of 1957
1
. With each subsequent treaty - the Single European Act
(1986), the Treaty of Maastricht (1992), the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) and the
Treaty of Nice (2001) strengthened its advisory role, today representing "the
voice of organized civil society", bringing together, besides the representatives
of the different segments of the economic-social life, employers' organizations,
trade unions, but also non-governmental organizations
2
.
The Economic and Social Committee ensures the connection between the
Union and the different socio-professional categories of the economic-social life
in order to involve them in the decision of the Union in the form of a consultation,
in the event that it is intended to make decisions with economic and social impli-
cations, related to especially for living conditions
3
. The EESC's headquarters are
in Brussels.
9.1.2. Organization of the EESC
The committee consists of the following bodies: the Assembly, the Bu-
reau, the chairman and the specialized sections
4
.
The assembly is composed of all the members of the Economic and So-
cial Committee.
The office consists of
5
:
- president and two vice-presidents;
- three group presidents;
- presidents of specialized section;
1
See art. 193-198 TCEE and art. 165-170 TEuratom.
2
See A. Popescu, I. Diaconu, op. cit., p. 247.
3
See F. Cotea, op. cit., p. 393.
4
See art. 2 of the Rules of Procedure.
5
See art. 3 of the Rules of Procedure.
190 Ioana Nely Militaru
- a variable number of members, which does not exceed that of the Mem-
ber States.
The Committee constitutes specialized sections during the constituent
meeting, after each renewal every five years, for the main areas covered by the
TFEU. Currently, six sections are organized: Single market, production and con-
sultants - INT; Transport, energy, infrastructure and the information society -
TEN; Agriculture, rural development and environmental protection - NAT; Eco-
nomic and monetary union, economic and social cohesion - ECO; Employment,
social affairs and citizenship - SOC; external relations - REX.
The specialized sections have the task of adopting opinions or infor-
mation reports on the issues with which they are referred.
The specialized sections may constitute a working or drafting group
within them or may appoint a single rapporteur.
The committee is made up of three working groups by areas of activity
1
:
- group I - employers, which brings together entrepreneurs from industry,
commerce, services and agriculture (112 members);
- Group II - employees, which includes representatives of national trade
union organizations at the level of confederations and federations (120 members);
- group III - socio-professional groups, of economic and social character,
which include representatives of farmers, artisans, liberal professions, coopera-
tors, consumer protection associations, associations of persons with disabilities,
scientific communities and teachers, etc. (109 members)
2
.
The expertise, the dialogue and the search for convergences that result
from them can increase the quality and credibility of the political decision at Eu-
ropean Union level, improving its understanding and acceptance by the European
citizens, as well as the transparency indispensable to democracy
3
.
Within the Committee, advisory committees
4
may be set up, consisting
of members and delegates from different fields of organized civil society, and
sub-committees to elaborate draft opinions on certain issues or in certain areas,
to be submitted to the Committee's deliberation.
The Bureau establishes the order of priority for examining the opinions,
dividing them into categories. The rules of procedure provide for three categories
of notices/requests for opinions defined according to the following criteria
5
:
Category A (referrals on topics recognized as priority). This includes:
1
See art. 27 paragraph (1) of the Rules of Procedure.
2
Idem.
3
See Rules of Procedure - Preamble. The codified version was adopted on July 14, 2010.
4
An Advisory Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI) may be set up, consisting of members of
the Committee and of delegates from organizations representing the various economic and social
sectors. See art. 24 paragraph (3) of the Rules of Procedure.
5
See art. 30 of the Rules of Procedure.

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