The EESC called for more transparency and more effective citizen participation in the EU

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) should be a key player in the process of helping to bring citizens closer to the EU project and providing the platform for the institutions to listen and better take into account the views of its citizens, as means to the full implementation of Article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) believes that the legitimacy crisis of the EU institutions can be solved only by them opening their doors to civil society, citizens and citizen organisations, thereby establishing ongoing dialogue that can bridge the existing gap. The European institution has therefore called for the full implementation of Article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty that entered into force in December 2009 as a means to strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the EU and avoiding the rise of extremism in Europe.

The opinion adopted on this matter in the EESC plenary session asks to extend the Transparency Register to the European Council, and that the Council do more to involve civil society in its policies, with the help of the EESC. The opinion also suggests that a major annual event be held to collate European civil society contributions and provide input into the Commission's annual programme and into the priorities of the various institutions.

The EESC's opinion also stressed that this institution should be a key player. It underlines that the EESC can draw on its experience as a catalyst for the needs of European civil society and should play a key role, working together with the other EU institutions in a coordinated and consistent strategy to implement the objectives of the article more effectively.