Europe's care sector will be barely capable of responding to the growing care demands of its ageing population. It is in dire need of major investments and a shift in policy-making, which should ensure that care workers are properly paid, have regulated working hours and receive adequate support. To achieve this, EU action will not be enough, and political will at national level will be crucial, an EESC hearing said.
The EESC firmly believes that a care model for dependent older people with long-term care needs should be mainstreamed into EU policymaking, given that the proportion of the population aged over 80 is expected to more than double by 2050. The pandemic revealed failures and shortcomings in this area, which must be addressed fast. The Commission's initiative to establish a new European Care Strategy is a step in this direction, but consultative institutions and European civil society organisations representing older people have to have a say.
Some 25% of the EU population are older citizens, a growing market of economic and social players in the digital age. The European Union faces a new challenge: the coincidence of longevity and widespread digitalisation. Therefore, changing the approach to the "silver economy" is an imperative, says the EESC. In its opinion “The digital pillar of growth: e-seniors, a potential 25% of the European population” ...
In a plenary debate with Commission Vice President Dubravka Šuica, the EESC asked the Commission to present a new strategy for older persons before the end of the current mandate
The EESC held the fourth of its Going Local meetings on the live-in care sector in the EU, this time in Poland. The country provides much of the sector's workforce in western EU Member States, but has itself started to face a serious shortage of qualified carers in recent years
The EESC will hold a conference in Madrid on 29 November 2023 from 9:30 am to 1 pm on " Present and future of EU policy for older people"
In the event we will discuss
- how European movements of older people view the progress achieved so far;
- current and future challenges;
- recommendations for future European policy measures