The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), has a specific role under the EU Treaties to act as an advisory body to the EU institutions. Its members are drawn from a range of civil society organsiations representing economic, social, cultural and diverse interests e.g. employers' organsiations, trade unions, consumer groups, social NGOs.  In advance of the renewal its mandate in October 2020, the Committee has published a study analysing gender balance among its members and staff . The findings give cause for concern:

  • only 28% of EESC members are women;
  • in a majority of national delegations women make up fewer than 40% of the delegation and in some national delegations there are no women at all;
  • in 2018 out of a total of 200 opinions prepared by the EESC, only 17% of Rapporteurs were women.

As regards the EESC's personnel, women are much better represented: there is almost parity among Heads of Unit (52% women/48% men) and women occupy 61% of Administrator positions. However, at 71%, women are over-represented in the Assistants category.

To help to improve the gender balance and advance gender equality within the EESC, the study makes important recommendations to the to the Member States, the nominating organisations (employers' organisations, trade unions and other civil society groups), the European Parliament and to the EESC itself. It draws on a literature review and a survey of the EESC members and staff. 

The study will be presented on 3 March 2020 between 14.30 - 17.00 at the EESC's Information Centre Reading Room - Jacques Delors Building - First floor, Rue Belliard 99, Brussels. Registration can be made by sending an email to: before the 2 March.

The study is also available on the EESC website: