Eurocarers is the European network representing informal carers and their organisations, irrespective of the particular age or health need of the person they are caring for. Our network brings together 73 carers’ organisations as well as relevant research & development organisations from 26 countries – a combination that enables evidence-based advocacy. These organisations are active at international, national and regional level. An overview of our membership is available here.
Eurocarers is designed as a platform for collaboration, support, exchange, awareness-raising and policy change. Our collective efforts seek to ensure that the existing and growing care needs of an ageing European population are addressed in a universal and equitable way and that the essential contribution of unpaid/informal carers in the provision of care is valued and recognised as central to the sustainability of health and long-term care systems, and supported to prevent the negative impact of care on carers themselves. We believe that carers’ know-how and needs are worth listening to and that people should have the right to choose freely whether they want to be a carer, and to what extent they want to be involved in caring.
The mission of the Eurocarers network is therefore to act as a voice for informal carers by:
- Documenting and raising awareness about the significant contribution made by carers to health and social care systems and the economy as a whole, the impact of caring on carers’ ability to maximise their life prospects and maintain an active and productive life, as well as the need to address the daily challenges facing carers across Europe;
- Contributing to evidence-based policy development at national as well as European level that take account of carers, i.e. promote their social inclusion, the development of support services, enable them to remain active in paid employment and maintain a social life; and
- Promoting mutual learning and an exchange of good practice and innovation throughout the EU.
POSITION PAPERS AND CALLS FOR ACTION
The Eurocarers secretariat – in its role as a knowledge-broker between carers, academics and policy makers continues to produces ad-hoc position papers in order to support and inform the development of evidence-based policies and practices on care and caring at EU and national level.
Our detailed review of the implementation of the Work-Life Balance Directive by member states (November 2020) has allowed to demonstrate that while the legislation in place in a huge majority of countries already complies with the Directive, existing benefits and entitlements are too often provided at a minimal level. It is indeed common for these rights to be defined on the basis of a narrow-focused notion of ‘informal care’, strict eligibility criteria or the benevolence of employers. Moreover, existing rights continue to favour those carers who have a first-degree relationship with the person in-need of care, who live in the same household or are employees of the public or private sector (thereby excluding self-employed workers and atypical forms of employment). Finally, access to the carer’s leave and flexible working conditions tend to remain problematic for those who provide care to dependent elderly persons, which is paradoxical given the original premise of the Directive and the need to adapt to ageing societies. Consequently, existing measures often fall short in adequately addressing the needs of millions of informal carers across Europe.
Making cancer-related complications and comorbidities an EU health priority – February 2020
This call to action, developed in collaboration with a long list of health organisations, aims to build on the momentum generated by the European Commission’s Beating Cancer Plan. The call’ specific objective is to draw attention on cancer patients’ (and their informal carers!) long-term wellbeing and quality of life, addressing the often-debilitating comorbidities and complications of cancer, both in terms of the disease itself and its treatments.
VAC-PACT Factsheets and quick guides on vaccination and Chronic diseases – October 2020
This Toolkit aims to support healthcare professionals, chronic disease patients and their supporting communities including: families and informal carers across the EU by empowering, on one hand, the patients themselves to make the best possible decisions on vaccination and raising, on the other hand, healthcare professionals’ and supporting communities’ awareness on the role they could play in this decision-making. https://vac-pact.com/toolkit/
The EU strategy on children’s rights (2021-2024) provides the framework for EU action to better promote and protect children’s rights while the Child Guarantee focuses on children in need: children from precarious households (precariousness due to economic fragility – in particular income poverty or material deprivation – household composition, or other social risk factors); children with a migrant background; children in institutions and children with disabilities. Against this backdrop, our Position Papers on the Child Guarantee (November 2020) and EU Strategy for the Rights of the Child (December 2020) seek to demonstrate how young carers should be identified as a particularly vulnerable group of children and young people.
Last Updated on June 3, 2021