To highlight the challenges of care work and care services for Europe's cities and regions, both in terms of human resources and infrastructure, against the backdrop of demographic change and an ageing population;
to examine the situation of carers from the perspective of the European Pillar of Social Rights, particularly from the point of view of fair working conditions, work-life balance and the right to affordable and high-quality long-term care, including home care and community-based services;
look at care work and care services at local and regional level and reflect on the way forward;
in addition, the opinion could begin an exchange of best practices in the field of (long-term) care and a reflection on the status of care workers, which currently varies widely across the EU and should be broadly defined at European level.
No impact yet.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- is conscious of the impact of an ageing population, shifts in social and family structures, the demands of the modern world of work and the resulting growing need for formal and informal care;
- draws attention to recent projections suggesting that the share of people in Europe aged 65 or over will rise from 20% today to an estimated 30% in 2070, and that the share of people aged 80 or over will double to more than 13% by 2070;
- highlights the care sector's enormous potential for the labour market, and in this context draws attention to the fact that there could potentially be eight million job openings in the health and social care sector over the next ten years;
- considers that, given the threat of staff shortages in the medium to long term, the cities and regions of the European Union need to address the reasons for the shortage of care workers;
- stresses that the vast majority of care work in Europe is carried out by relatives in the home, particularly by women, often with no specialist training or guidance, no commensurate payment and no social protection, which ultimately exacerbates the existing gender pension gap;
- is committed to adequate remuneration for carers, reflecting the social and societal value of their work;
- calls on the European Commission to update the existing 2012 European quality framework for long-term care services, in order to keep pace with latest developments in long-term care provision and related skills requirements, and with a view to facilitating carer mobility;
- welcomes the funding and support options offered by the current and future EU Structural Funds (ESF 2014-2020 with REACT-EU, and ESF+ 2021-2027), and the synergies and complementarities created by the EU4Health programme 2021-2027, and underlines the priority of the actions financed in this way.