EU Charter of rights and responsibilities of older people in need of long-term care and assistance - DAPHNE Eustacea

As part of the DAPHNE Eustacea project  (2008-2010) of the European Commission’s Daphne III Programme, AGE developed with a network of 11 partner organisations two publications aimed to prevent elder abuse and raise awareness of the rights of the increasing number of people receiving long-term care:. 

  • European Charter on the rights of older people who are dependent on a family member or carer, or are need of long-term care or assistance.
  • An Accompanying Guide or ‘toolkit’ addressing each of the rights expressed in the Charter, explaining what they concretely mean and how they can be enforced.

Building on the expertise of its partners, the project adopted a broad-ranging definition of abuse encompassing intentional violence and mistreatment but also neglect, in formal and informal care settings, financial services,etc. It also addressd the gender dimension of abuse. 

The partners of the project were based in Netherlands (ANBO), Germany (BIVA), France (FNG), in Italy (FIPAC), Greece (Hellas 50+), Slovenia (Mestna zveva upokojencev Ljubljana), United Kingdom (NIACE), Sweden (SPF), Czech Republic (Zivot 90) and Belgium (Commune de Saint-Josse), and the European Association for Directors of Residential Homes for the Elderly (E.D.E). The project run until December 2010, and it delivered the European Charter and its Accompanying Guide.


European Charter

of rights and responsibilities of older people in need of long-term care and assistance

This Charter aims to become a reference document setting out the fundamental principles and rights that are needed for the wellbeing of all those who are dependent on others for support and care due to age, illness or disability.


The European Charter 
is available in 13 languages, you can download them all on our website : 

Translations without layout:


Accompanying Guide

Drawing on successful and innovative initiatives from across the EU, the accompanying guide adresses the following questions: What is elder abuse? How can it be spotted? Why does it happen and how can it be prevented? And when it does happen, how should it be treated? It also proposed recommendations - through consultation that involved older people themselves - for European, national and local authorities, service providers, older people’s organisations and potential victims.



The Accompanying Guide is available in 9 languages :

You can find a list of related documents and interesting links here. If you wish to have more information on the project, please feel free to contact Borja Arrue at


Long term impact

The project has helped raise awareness of the need to protect older vulnerable people in today’s context of rapid demographic ageing.

Through the deliverables (Charter and Guide) the project has helped develop tools that will be very useful to raise awareness of what can be done at European and national level to fight elder abuse. Thanks to the project and on-going policy work, the issue of elder abuse and quality of long-term care for the elderly was supported by successive EU presidencies (CZ, SE, ES, BE) and various national governments, and local public authorities are interested to promote it and use it for their own work. The European Charter is now used as a reference document at EU and national level.  It was mentioned in a recent EC (DG EMPL) call for a pilot project on elder abuse and by the European Parliament during its hearing of the Hungarian Presidency.

The project helped build consensus among a wide range of stakeholders. It builds support for the European Charter to become a reference document for the development of a European Partnership for the wellbeing and dignity of older people, a follow-up project called WeDO, which will now seek to build of the EUSTACEA project to develop tools to improve quality of care for elderly as a mean to fight elderabuse. This new pilot project funded by DG EMPL gathers 18 partners from 12 different countries. It seeks to contribute to the on-going debate on the voluntary European Quality framework for social services developed by the Social Protection Committee and will make recommendations on how this framework can be applied to long-term care. The new project will seek to set up a European Partnership of stakeholders committed to combat elder abuse and to promote the wellbeing and dignity of older dependent and frail persons through quality tools based on our EUSTACEA Charter. The long-term impact of the EUSTACEA project is ensured through this new project which will end in November 2012 (more information at

The project ended in December 2010 but AGE successfully applied to a new project to prevent elder abuse and improve quality care, the WeDO Project - a European Partnership for the Wellbeing and Dignity of Older people. The project (2010-2012) aimed at creating a lasting and growing partnership of organisations committed to improve the wellbeing and dignity of older people. It developed an EU quality framework for long-term care services. You can find more information in

This website is developed with the financial support of an operating grant of the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Commission. The contents of the articles are the sole responsibility of AGE Platform Europe and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.