25 October 2023: European Expert Meeting on the Care Strategy

This year’s European Expert Meeting took place in Berlin on 25 October 2023. The participants discussed the European Care Strategy, which was adopted by the European Council in December 2022.


AGF published a comprehensive report on the meeting. Please download it here:

Summary of key findings

Positive impetus for care policy across all phases of lifeThe Care Strategy provides positive impetus in the member states to develop a more cross-career perspective on care work. Combining childcare and caring for relatives is necessary in order to relieve the burden on women and protect them from poverty in old age, as they bear the main burden of care work in both areas.
Broad approach to improving long-term careThe experts welcomed the broad approach of the European Care Strategy with the pillars of improving the quality of care services, improving working conditions in the care sector, improving the reconciliation of paid work and care responsibilities, increasing investment in the care sector and improving the evidence base for care.
Further strengthening of care for relatives in national implementation processes necessaryIn the member states, there are only a few benefits and rights to which family carers are directly entitled. Member states have a duty to improve the compatibility of care and work, facilitate cooperation between professional carers and family carers, expand access to counselling and psychological support as well as respite services and provide appropriate financial support for family carers.
Combating the shortage of skilled labour and promoting mixed care arrangementsThe shortage of skilled carers across Europe must be addressed at national level by increasing the attractiveness of the caring profession through higher pay and better working conditions, among other things. At the same time, from the point of view of families, the “viability” of mixed care arrangements consisting of professional, family and other informal carers must be made easier.  
Create quality standards and apply them to all long-term care providersMember States should set binding quality standards for all forms of long-term care. These should apply to all providers of long-term care, regardless of their legal form and organisation.
Strengthen prevention of care risks and health risks from caring activitiesGeneral health promotion across the entire lifespan must be expanded in order to reduce the risk of long-term care and increase the proportion of disability-free life expectancy. In addition, prevention programmes for family carers must be expanded in order to compensate for the physical and psychological strain of caring for relatives.
Develop time policies for a fairer distribution of care workTime policy measures such as paid leave from gainful employment for childcare or caring are important measures to relieve the burden on families. They must be designed in such a way that the unequal distribution of care work and poverty risks due to care work between the sexes is alleviated in the medium term.
Provide care coordinators with sufficient resources and involve civil society.In order for the national coordinators to successfully drive forward the implementation of the EU care strategy, they need appropriate competences and resources. This is the only way they can organise solutions across departmental boundaries and federal responsibilities with the involvement of civil society.


You can download the programme here.