On 25 March, AGE organized jointly with the European Disability Forum (EDF) and the European Public Service Unions (EPSU) an event supported by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all main political groups. This event highlighted the need for the Parliament to conduct an inquiry into the tragic impacts that COVID-19 has had on residential care across the EU.
The event served as a reminder of our call for an inquiry last 1st July 2020, which was supported by 88 MEPs. Our call was followed by a plenary debate and a hearing at the European Parliament showing the wide support for active parliamentary involvement in assessing what went wrong and plan better for the future.
At the event, representatives of inquiry committees in the parliaments of Lombardy (Italy), Brussels (Belgium) and the French National Assembly presented their work and findings. They shared their experiences and called for a similar inquiry to take place at EU level through the European Parliament. This panel was moderated by Maciej Kucharczyk, AGE’s Secretary -General, who reaffirmed AGE’s commitment to learn the lessons of COVID-19 and put forward a brighter future for Europe’s long-term care systems.
MEPs took the floor to support the possibility of having an inquiry at the European Parliament. The diversity of countries and political groups represented gave us hope that the inquiry could make its way into the work of the European Parliament in the coming months.
AGE’s President, Ebbe Johansen, closed the event highlighting how tragic COVID-19 has been for older people in care homes. He called on the Parliament to bring an inquiry forward.
In the coming months, AGE, EPSU and EDF will continue fighting to keep up MEPs interest and widen their support to an inquiry. New events focusing on care professionals and older people, and contacts with new MEP, should further strengthen our call.
For more information, you may contact Borja Arrue-Astrain, AGE’s Policy Officer responsible for long-term care, firstname.lastname@example.org.