This opinion is drafted at the request of the European Parliament, within the context of the two reports of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, namely: Improving the Functioning of the European Union Building on the Potential of the Liston Treaty (rapporteurs Ms Bresso and Mr Brok) and Possible Evolutions and Adjustments of the Current Institutional Set-up of the European Union (rapporteur Mr Verhofstadt).
The EESC welcomes the initiative of the European Parliament. It is expected that it will constitute a significant contribution towards relaunching the debate on the future of the European Union. The EESC has already adopted several opinions on the subject and is committed to contribute further to the work of the European Parliament.
The EESC is the institutional representative of organised civil society1 at the European level and its members are "completely independent in the performance of their duties, in the Union's general interest"2. As a consultative body of the European institutions, the EESC has assured, since its creation, effective, wide and consistent participation of organised representative European civil society in EU policy-shaping and decision-making. Therefore, it contributes to ensuring that decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen3, thus contributing to the implementation of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, which govern the use of Union competences4.