EU Care Strategy should address people in need for care, informal carers and the care workforce – question by MEPs

A group of 32 MEPs has addressed a written question to the European Commission, asking for details about the European Care Strategy. The MEPs point out that according to a recent EU report, only one in three persons in need for care can actually access long-term care services. In September, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a European Care Strategy in her State of the Union Speech.

At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the quality and accessibility of services and placed a higher burden on informal carers. Working conditions for professional carers are also putting them under severe stress and hamper the quality of long-term care.

MEPs ask for the European Care Strategy to respond to the needs of all these three groups.

The question has been signed by the following MEPs:

Milan Brglez (,SI, S&D), Jarosław Duda (PL, PPE), Klemen Grošelj (SI, Renew), Predrag Fred Matić (HR, S&D), Sara Cerdas (PT, S&D), Irena Joveva (SI, Renew), Marc Angel (LU, S&D), Atidzhe Alieva-Veli (BU, Renew), Magdalena Adamowicz (PL, PPE), Pernando Barrena Arza (ES, The Left), Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó (ES, NI), Clara Ponsatí Obiols (ES, NI), Antoni Comín i Oliveres (ES, NI), Elżbieta Kruk (PL, ECR), Rovana Plumb (RO, S&D), Olivier Chastel (BE, Renew), Robert Hajšel (SK, S&D), Alex Agius Saliba (MT, S&D), Angel Dzhambazki (BU, ECR), Andrey Slabakov (BU, ECR), Estrella Durá Ferrandis (ES, S&D), Radka Maxová (CZ, S&D), Miriam Lexmann (SK, PPE), Ivan Štefanec (SK, PPE), Bronis Ropė (LT, Verts/ALE), Manuel Pizarro (IT, S&D), Maria da Graça Carvalho (PT, PPE), Aurore Lalucq (S&D), Anna Júlia Donáth (HU, Renew), Sylwia Spurek (PL, Verts/ALE), Monika Beňová (SK, S&D), Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar (PT, PPE)

The full text of the written question:

In her speech on the State of the EU, the Commission President announced a European care strategy to ‘support men and women in finding the best care and the best life balance’. The report by the Commission and the Social Protection Committee on long-term care(1) indicates that only one third of individuals aged 65+ with severe needs had access to home care services, and more than 25 % of Europeans, mainly women, are informal carers for children, persons with disabilities or older family members(2). COVID-19 has aggravated and increased the over-reliance on informal carers. People in need of care have been facing a lack of affordable quality care for years, which puts them at risk of exclusion. Care workers are facing exhausting conditions and a lack of recognition, which exposes them and their charges to situations of physical and mental risk.

1. Will the European care strategy focus on long-term care as an opportunity for inclusion and to allow older people to participate in our communities, rather than just as a challenge or cost?
2. Will the strategy adopt a rights-based approach based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the EU disability strategy?
3. How will the strategy improve recognition of and working conditions for formal carers and support for informal carers?
(1)Long-term care report – Trends, challenges and opportunities in an ageing society, 2021, https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=738&langId=en&pubId=8396. (2)https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/data/care-responsibilities?data=4

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