The EPP Group welcomes the announcement of the EU’s first ever Care Strategy. The strategy, which includes crucial planning and support for caregivers, will be announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today. The European Care Strategy is an initiative of the EPP Group which was first suggested in April 2020.
"Today's announcement is a result of many months of important meetings and discussion, raising awareness, and highlighting the importance of care", highlighted EPP Group Spokeswoman on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, Frances Fitzgerald MEP.
She continued: "It is a significant development for families and our society as a whole and is a result of the EPP’s commitment to putting our values into action. Care is at the heart of our society across Europe and impacts everyone, young and old. Each and every one of us has been cared for at some point in our lives, and will likely care for someone else too. This is a hallmark of our societal contract, through generations. This is why we need to plan for the future in order to ensure that carers in the formal and informal care sectors feel supported and empowered."
"It is high time to improve the working conditions of millions of caregivers and value the unpaid work that is done by millions of citizens across Europe to provide care for their families or friends", added Dennis Radtke MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on Employment and Social Affairs. "The care sector has great employment potential, but this requires specific skills. That is why Europe should invest in the reskilling and upskilling of workers, so we can make sure that everyone who is committed to working in care, has the right instruments to do so. The EU already has the funds to help workers make the transition to the care sector, such as the European Skills Agenda, the Pact for Skills, ESF+, the Youth Employment Initiative, the Just Transition Fund, and EU4Health, among others."
"As the EPP Group, we are unequivocal in our respect for the right to self-determination and autonomy of those who require care or support. This involves data collection about where the greatest care needs are and how we can best ensure provision into the future. We must also invest more in our care sectors, not just as a moral necessity but also for the benefit of the common good", stressed Fitzgerald.
“Today’s announcement is also an important moment for women, who provide the majority of care support across Europe. Often, women in the care sector forgo income and pension entitlements in order to provide care. The role of women in care is fully recognised by the strategy, which aims to tackle longstanding inequalities", Fitzgerald concluded.
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The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States