Answering written questions by MEPs Sirpa Pietikäinen (FI, EPP), Luke Ming Flanagan (IE, The LEFT) and Marisa Matias (PT, The LEFT), Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit reiterated the announcement of the EU Care Strategy for 2022. According to the Commission, the Strategy will cover both care users and carers, as well as formal and informal care. Childcare will be covered by a parallel initiative to revise the Barcelona targets for Early Childhood Education and Care.
In his written reply, Commissioner Schmit indicated that the scope of including formal and informal care was ‘under consideration’, but that a main reason for the Strategy was to increase employment rates of women.
It is not clear from the Commission’s answer whether the Care Strategy will be subject to a public consultation, indicating that consultation excercises covering long-term care have already been held in the ‘strengthening social Europe’ and ‘Green Paper on Ageing’ consultations.
The three MEPs had asked two questions, one on whether a European Care Strategy could be envisaged and a second one on what it could entail (the former has only been supported by Ms Pietikainen and Mr Flanagan)
- Question on the possibility of an EU Care Strategy (Flanagan/Pietikäinen)
- Question on the content of an EU Care Strategy (Flanagan/Pietikäinen/Matias)
- Answer by the European Commission