AGE calls for “far-reaching reforms” in long-term care after important debate at the European Parliament


Brussels, Belgium – 9 October 2020

Following the plenary debate on “The impact of Covid-19 outbreak on long-term care facilities” at the European Parliament on October 8, 2020, AGE Secretary General Maciej Kucharczyk said:

“Our long-term care systems do not live up to the European Union’s fundamentals of equality and dignity. It took a deadly pandemic in residential care and nursing homes for society to get to grips with the issue.

AGE welcomes the fact that many MEPs called for this debate and actively contributed. This morning’s interventions confirm that urgent action is needed to support residents and professionals in coping with the current public health crisis. Beyond emergency responses, we are calling for far-reaching reforms to redesign how care and support are provided.

The mobilisation of the European Parliament is the proof that our national health and long-term care systems face common challenges and must be rethought everywhere. The European Commission has tools at its disposal – whether it is via existing funds or the post-COVID recovery plan. The Commission also has the powers to put forward ambitious policy and legislative initiatives.

European funding, policies and legislations must be used for the development of quality care and support services, including in the community and at home, in accordance with principle 18 of the European Pillar of Social Rights and article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The UN CRPD has been ratified by the Member States and the European Union and it is our collective responsibility to make sure that we comply with it.”

AGE’s comment echoes the speaking of several Members of the European Parliament during yesterday’s debate. It also builds on the demands of a European Parliament resolution on EU coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences of 17 April 2020. The European Commission and Member States must now take action.

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