European Parliament Interest Group on Carers 23rd February 2021
The European Parliament Informal Carers Interest Group meeting took place on 23rd February 2021 with the topic ‘Towards an ambitious EU initiative on long-term care’.
The meeting addressed the need for an ambitious EU initiative on long-term care, within the context of the recent consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights as well as the current European Parliament focus on care.
Europe’s vast number of – usually unpaid – informal carers, ensuring 80% of all long-term care in Europe, provide essential daily support to people of all ages with chronic illnesses, disabilities or other long-lasting health / care needs. Therefore, they should be considered both an inherent as well as inherent and indispensable part of health and social care systems. However, providing this care often has a negative impact the health, social and economic well-being of these carers; the current COVID-19 pandemic stands witness to that fact.
Fortunately, the political and societal importance of long-term care – and of the crucial role of informal carers within that context – in increasing; the recent EU Work/Life Balance Directive and the reference to long term care in the European Pillar of Social Rights are prominent examples of this recognition. However, more needs to be done to ensure a coherent and consistent approach to enable informal carers to care across the EU – both for the well-being of carers and those cared for as well as for societal cohesion and sustainability as a whole
Therefore, this Interest Group meeting aimed to
- Highlight recent and current policy developments with a bearing on carers, more specifically the consultation on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, its outcome and next steps, with a link to the Portuguese EU Presidency
- Be informed of initiatives in the European Parliament on care and carers
- Explore possibilities for further EU level action to increase concrete policy attention for carers across the board.
Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP
Luke Flanagan MEP
Marisa Matias, MEP
Sari Tervonen, President Eurocarers
Stecy Yghemonos, Executive Director, Eurocarers
Last Updated on March 15, 2021