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The European voice for informal carers

European Parliament Informal Carers Interest Group – 28th September 2021

Dear colleagues,

The co-chairs of the European Parliament Informal Carers Interest Group are pleased to announce the next (virtual) meeting of Interest Group, taking place on 28 September between 12:30 and 14.00.

The meeting will address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on carers, as outlined in a recent study, carried out by Eurocarers in cooperation with Italian Institute of Health and Science on Ageing (IRCCS-INRCA) and with the support of the European Commission.

Every day, millions of informal carers across Europe play a central part in the long-term care of people with a chronic illness, disability, or other long-lasting care needs. As much as 80% of all care in Europe is provided by families, friends, and neighbours who often do this with minimal support and at the expense of their health, social and employment prospects.

The recent Eurocarers/IRCCS-INRCA report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on carers clearly shows that the situation of carers has visibly worsened – and continues to do so. It has made informal carers more isolated, vulnerable, and invisible than ever before. As a result, more carers are providing more, and more intensive, support.

The pandemic has shed light on the urgent need for a policy commitment towards informal care as a choice rather than as a default option across Europe. Informal carers must be recognised as essential partners in care. Data collection about the prevalence of informal care and needs of carers as well as identification instruments need to be improved and developed. Preventive measures against the negative impacts of caring also need to be put in place. Current EU projects and instruments – e.g.  European Semester, European Structural Funds, Social Pillar Action Plan – offer great potential to improve the daily life of both persons in need of care and their informal carers.

In light of the above, it is high time a consistent and comprehensive EU initiative on long-term care was developed. The recent report of the Social Protection Committee, as well as the Commission’s stated intention to propose an initiative on long-term care to ‘set a framework for policy reforms that ensures better access to quality services for those in need’ indicate a growing interest in and awareness of the need for such an initiative. It now belongs to us to seize the opportunity!

A draft programme will be sent to you closer to the date of the event but, should you be interested in taking part in this meeting, please register here.

With many thanks in advance for your consideration and interest,

Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP
Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan MEP
Sari Tervonen, President Eurocarers
Stecy Yghemonos, Executive Director, Eurocarers



Last Updated on July 1, 2021

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