On September 9th, the team of NASO had the pleasure of participating in the EASPD webinar on “European Care Strategy”. During the nearly two-hour discussion, the factors leading to the need for a clear formulation of a common European strategy were discussed, with a focus on the care of all affected parties – people in different risk groups who rely on social assistance and an appropriate form of care within the whole EU.
Key messages to all EASPD partner organizations were highlighted by the EC team:
- Care concerns us all and high quality care has clear benefits for all ages
- The pandemic has highlighted the need to improve the resilience of care systems
- For many people care services are not affordable, available or accessible
- Caregiving has multidimensional gender inequalities
- Good working conditions are vital for the sustainability of the sector
- Inadequacy of care systems has high economic and social costs and undermines the sector’s potential to create jobs
The scope of the European care strategy covers both users of social care (recipients) and providers (caregivers and other social workers and organizations), the emphasis on long-term care and a lifelong perspective, on synergies with other policies and related EU initiatives (eg skills, employment, disability, health, social dialogue, gender equality) and others.
The key areas of operation of the strategy are namely:
- Improving care
- Improving working conditions in the care sector
- Better balance between work and caring responsibilities
- Investing in care
- Improving the evidence base and monitoring progress
Each of these areas was examined in detail, as well as the initiatives taken in connection with their development (see the presentation). Numerous possibilities for joint activities, exchange of experience, sharing of good practices between the various partner organizations were discussed. A “Proposal for a Council Recommendation on access to affordable high-quality long-term care” was also discussed, which aims to improve access to affordable high-quality long-term care for all people who need it.
The webinar, the presentations and the following joint discussion were extremely fruitful. The organized event gave the chance to all participants to get involved, provide their opinion and discuss options for future projects and initiatives related to the main topic.