The European Economic and Social Committee is the European institutional forum for consultation, representation and information of civil society and the place where the latter can express its views. The EESC offers to representatives of the economic, social and civic organizations of the Member States the opportunity to play a vital role in policy making and decision making at the level of the European Community.
The EESC was set up by the 1957 Treaty of Rome, and its importance was confirmed and its role reinforced by the Treaty of Nice and the draft Constitution, which included provisions on participatory democracy and social dialogue.
The European Economic and Social Committee mainly serves as an advisory body to the Council of the European Union, to the European Commission and Parliament. This consultation is mandatory with regard to the provisions of the Treaties, but the Committee is increasingly being asked to issue exploratory opinions before adopting proposals and making political decisions. It may also issue opinions and draw up informative reports on its own initiative. In addition, the Committee is particularly active in international relations by establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships with representatives of civil society in countries outside the EU.
Due to the European Economic and Social Committee, the European construction is not the exclusive task of the European Union and its politicians, but also of the members of the public belonging to organizations involved in the economic, social and civic life of their countries.
Romania is represented in the EESC by 15 members from the main trade union and employers’ confederations and from the most active non-governmental organizations.