Two of the European Parliaments committees, the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) and the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM), have passed a report on the future of care in the European Union. The rapporteurs were Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (Finland) and Milan Brglez MEP (Slovenia), who are also Chair and a member of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance (EAA), respectively. The report called for the forthcoming European care strategy to support reform of care and social security systems in Member States, to better meet the needs and the rights of citizens, including those set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights, and to build resilience for future crises. The report highlights the shortage of accessible and affordable long-term care services, as well as chronic underinvestment in the care economy, resulting in significant challenges for the 44 million informal carers across the EU. It calls on the EU to provide funding opportunities for recovery after the pandemic, guaranteeing timely and equal access to quality care services to people of all generations in line with a rights-based and life-course approach.
Specifically, it identifies the needs for care for older persons, prevention and rehabilitation services, long-term care and other forms of support for persons with disabilities, to ensure that support is provided in a comprehensive and integrated manner and responds to individuals’ physical and psychological needs. In addition, the report notes the effect of demographic changes in Europe, highlighting that as the population ages, further demands for care and support services will be placed on care systems. In particular, there is a specific reference to figures from the Alzheimer Europe Yearbook 2019, noting that the number of people living with dementia is set to double by 2050. The motion will now be voted on in a Plenary session of the European Parliament. The full report passed by the committees is available at: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/A-9-2022-0189_EN.html