EASPD has released its position Action Plan for implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights. The report has been prepared by EASPD as an input to the consultation of the Commission on the development of the Action plan. It also aims to support both European co-legislators once a proposal has been made. The report highlights the priorities and recommendations of European social care and support providers for persons with disabilities, represented by EASPD, with regard to the implementation of the EPSR.
While social care and support services directly or indirectly link to all principles of the EPSR, in this report, we focus on the following principles we found most pressing and where we have greatest expertise:
- Principle 1: Education, training and lifelong learning
- Principle 4: Active support to employment
- Principle 11: Childcare and support to children
- Principle 17: Inclusion of persons with disabilities
- Principle 18: Long-term care
For each of these principles, this report presents a brief state of play and possible areas of intervention in the context of social care and support provision for persons with disabilities. This includes both existing and upcoming initiatives of the European Union.
Key recommendations made in this report are:
- The call in the European Parliament report on the employment and social policies of the euro area 2020 to develop an EU framework for care services to set minimum standards and quality guidelines should be acted upon.
- The European Education Area should recognise the key role of support services in inclusive education and mainstream the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) through its initiatives.
- The European Action Plan for the Social economy should recognise the key role of social service providers and social economy enterprises within the Social Economy.
- The Child Guarantee should focus on supporting the development of sustainable funding for children services, and of comprehensive legislative reforms to support services for children with disabilities.
- The European Disability Strategy post-2020 should show more guarantees for and commitment towards social services, which have proved to be essential, especially in the time of crisis. It should ensure that social care and support services are available at all stages of life, from early childhood to older age.
- The EU Recovery and Resilience Facility should set a 25% earmarking for social investment, including investment in supporting the transition towards community-based services in line with the UN CRPD.
- The Horizon Europe programme should be more open for social care and support providers.
- Policy should be created to support integrated care, linking socially isolated people, better healthcare, independent living, accessibility, privacy, and companies for interoperable platforms supported across Europe.
- Additional effort by the European Union is needed to recruit, retain and train workforce in social care and support.
- The European Skills Agenda, in particular the Pact for Skills, should target to mobilise and incentivise all relevant stakeholders to take concrete actions for the upskilling and reskilling of social care and support workers.
- Eurostat, Eurofound and other European organisations should collect disability disaggregated data and indicators.
- The Social Scoreboard should include data in the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
- The EPSR should also be prioritised in the negotiations with EU neighbourhood and candidate countries.
- Financing of social care and support should be sufficient and sustainable; it should not be limited by minimum income provisions but go beyond them.