The new European Parliament's Interest Group on Carers held it's first meeting co-organised by EUROCARERS, the European Association Working for Carers. CARER+ was represented by Gloria Ortiz, project manager, who shared insights about the project with the panel of the Social Protection Committee on 15 October 2014.
The Interest Group was launched 7 years ago and it has been one of the most active since its inception. All four co-chairs of the last Parliamentary term have committed to continue their work. The Group will seek a wider support base in the European Parliament, and advocacy activities will mainly focus on the putting in place of an EU Carers Strategy, along with work on current policy files and topics. The aim of the meeting were
- To provide information on the background and content of the Social Protection Committee report on long term care for older people as well as planned next steps within this context
- To discuss the report with members of the Social Protection Committee and Commission as well as with relevant stakeholders;
- To explore the possibilities for further action and concrete policy initiatives
- To re-establish the Interest Group on Carers as well as cooperation with the SPC.
The first speaker was Niclas Jacobsson (Social Ministry Sweden and chair of the Working Group AGE of the Social Protection Committee) . He first described the Social Protection Committee as an advisory policy committee for social and employment ministries in the Social Affairs Council, which was established by the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. The SPC monitors social conditions and development of social protection policies and the report ‘Adequate Social Protection against Long Term Care’ has been produced within this remit and context. While the report is relevant from the carers’ perspective it addresses the wider issues about long term care provision for older people across the EU. However, Niclas acknowledged that, without carers, member states would not be able to cope - not now and not in the future.