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European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is an EU consultative body. It was set up in 1957 to represent the interests of the various economic and social groups in EU countries.

Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the EESC has a maximum of 350 members. There are between 5 and 24 members per EU country.

Members fall into 3 groups representing the interests of: 1. employers, 2. workers and 3. particular types of activity (such as farmers, small businesses, professions, consumers, cooperatives, families, environmental groups). EESC members are appointed for 5 years (renewable).

The EESC is consulted by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission in the cases laid down in the EU treaties. It may also issue own-initiative opinions. Its role, organisation and powers are governed by Article 13 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Articles 301-304 of the TFEU.