Responding to a public consultation launched by the European Commission to identify the support needed to address the issues and seize the opportunities around ageing, Eurocarers has submitted a detailed contribution, stressing the need to take into account the challenges posed by informal care in the EU’s approach to demographic change.
The consultation was framed by the Green Paper on Ageing released in January 2021 by the Commission, setting out the speed and scale of the demographic changes in our society, as well as the impact this has across EU policies, ranging from health promotion, and lifelong learning to strengthening health and care systems to cater for an older population, looking at the impact of ageing on our careers, wellbeing, pensions, social protection and productivity.
Bringing together evidence from recent practice and research implemented by Eurocarers’ members across Europe, our contribution shows why and how adequate support should be provided to informal carers through health prevention, life-long learning, recognition of skills, work-life balance, and adequate protection, in particular income compensation and pensions rights. We insist on the need to achieve a sustainable improvement in integrated long-term care provision, through innovative approaches building on local community strengths and synergies, and participation of all stakeholders, overcoming the fragmentation of actors.
Importantly, we state that the EU has an important role to play in helping to build carer-friendly societies, through the collection of comparable data and indicators, transnational research, mutual learning and targeted financial support, hence recognising the value of care, which remains a mostly invisible and undervalued activity.
Based on the results of this consultation, the Commission will consider possible policy responses to reinforce efforts in Member States and regions.
For more comparative data on demographic change see also the Commission’s June 2020 report on the impact of demographic change.