On 2nd April, the European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, issued a powerful statement to reaffirm older persons’ rights during the Coronavirus pandemic:
“During the COVID-19 crisis the European Commission is committed to ensure that the rights of older Europeans are respected:
- no place for ageism in the EU;
- no-one should be deprioritised from receiving care solely on the basis of age;
- no-one should be left behind.”
Read Commissioner Dalli’s full statement here (and below).
A few days later, on 8th April, the EU Commissioner for Equality, together with EU Commissioner for Jobs & Social Rights, Nicolas SCHMIT, and the EU Commission for Health & Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, addressed a letter to EU governments asking them draw specific attention to vulnerable groups and make sure they receive the needed support during the COVID-19 crisis.
Regarding older persons, the three Commissioners highlight the following issues:
- risk of infection for those living in care facilities
- risk of isolation for those living alone
- risk of difficult access to necessary services for those relying on e.g. meal delivery or other social services
The European Commission is reminding Member States how the initiatives taken at European level can support their efforts at national level. These initiatives are: the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII), but also the European Social Funds (ESF), the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) and the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC).