In September 2022, the European Commission presented its proposal for an European Care Strategy. This strategy aims to ensure quality, affordable and accessible care services across the European Union and improve the situation for both care receivers and the people caring for them. The proposed strategy will be discussed by Member States with a view to adoption by the Council.
Long-term care for all (and especially children and elderly people), work-life balance, fair working conditions and training for care staff are at the heart of the proposed strategy. In its proposal, the European Commission also underlines the need to pay a particular attention to rural and remote areas. Indeed, rural areas often lack or have a shortage of care services. Also, a considerable share of the ageing population is located in rural areas.
Therefore, the proposed strategy calls on making care services more accessible to people in rural areas, as well as recognising the role of information care options such as home care and community-based care. The Commission’s proposal also recognizes that, as digital care is increasingly becoming more relevant, broadband connection should be improved in rural areas.
Accessible and affordable care services are an essential service to ensure the liveability of rural areas and the delivery of the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas. Moreover, improving care services has the potential to create new job opportunities in rural territories. In this framework, the Commission highlights that Rural Observatory will be used to provide Member States with evidence on care provision in rural areas.
Published by Carla Lostrangio