The European Commission will hold its Annual Convention for Inclusive Growth (ACIG) tomorrow, Friday 27 April, in Brussels. This year’s Convention focuses on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (Social Pillar). The European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (EEG) together with the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) and COFACE Families Europe will host a side event on “Community based support and services as pillars for an inclusive European Union?”
The side event, moderated by Laura Marchetti, coordinator of the EEG, will explore the implementation of many of the Social Pillar principles through investment in community-based services including those on inclusive education and active support to employment, work-life balance and gender equality, childcare and support to children, social protection, health care, inclusion of persons with disabilities, long-term care, access to essential services, housing and assistance for the homeless.
The EEG considers smart and sustainable investment in community-based services as key to bringing the Social Pillar agenda forward. “Person-centred community-based services are essential to enabling individuals to live in the community and allowing them to exercise their rights as EU citizens” says Frank Sioen, ENIL Advocacy Officer. Future EU budget should keep the transition from institutional to community-based care for people with all kinds of support needs high on the agenda.
The Expert Group is convinced that investments and policy initiatives can reinforce each other to achieve a sustainable transition to community-based services and create inclusive communities. “Implementing the Social Pillar through the development of community-based services is in line with the political and legal commitments undertaken by the EU and its Member States upon the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). Human rights should be fully respected when implementing EU policies and spending EU funding” highlighted Dr. Magdi Birtha, Policy and Advocacy Officer at COFACE Families Europe.
Next week, the European Commission will publish its first communication on the next European budget, the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF). “Adequate investments in social inclusion and having community-based services as an investment priority in the next MFF is where the EU can bring real added value” concluded Sabrina Ferraina, EEG Co-chair and EASPD Policy Manager.
The EEG takes this opportunity to call on the EU and its Member States to ensure the implementation of the Social Pillar and the next MFF through strong governance, financial means and guarantees on respecting human rights. Only this will ensure a fair and social Europe for all. The EEG acknowledges that the Social Pillar has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of the most socially excluded people in Europe and their families. We are standing strong and are willing to provide technical assistance and support to EU institutions and Member States on how to make inclusive societies a reality.
Note to Editors
The European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (EEG) is a broad coalition gathering stakeholders representing people with care or support needs and their families, including children, people with disabilities, homeless people, people experiencing mental health problems; as well as service providers, public authorities and intergovernmental organisations.
Laura Marchetti, EEG Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org