The European Expert Group on the transition from institutional to community-based care, formerly known as the Ad Hoc Expert Group on the transition from institutional to community-based care, was convened in February 2009 by the then European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs Vladimir Špidla in order to address the issues of institutional care reform in the European Union.
First convened in 2009, the group gathers the following organisations: COFACE, Eurochild, European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disability (EASPD), European Disability Forum, European Network for Independant Living, European Social Network, European Federation of National Organisations working with the homeless (FEANTSA), Inclusion Europe, Lumos, Mental Health Europe, Office of High Commission ofr Human Rights, UNICEF. The EEG is a broad coalition gathering stakeholders representing people with care or support needs including children, people with disabilities, people experiencing mental health problems, families, people experiencing homelessness; as well as service providers, public authorities and intergovernmental organisations.
Its work is supported by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanethem Pillay. The Group aims to serve as an informal advisory body in relation to institutional care reform, encompassing children, people with disabilities, including people with mental health problems, elderly and families. It has published two reference documents: a set of ‘Common European Guidelines on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based care’ and a ‘Toolkit on the use of European Union Funds’ in 2012.
The Group has as its mission the promotion of person-centred, quality and empowering models of services and formal and informal care that fully respect the human rights of all people with care or support needs. The Group supports national efforts to implement the necessary reforms, in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (in particular with Article 19), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Fundamental Rights Charter.
The Group provides expert support on EU policy, legislation and funding. All members of the Group provide a link to operational expertise at national, regional and local level through their direct involvement and the empowerment of their member organisations
In 2013 and 2014, with the support of the European Commission, the EEG has organised training seminars on the transition from institutional to community based care in twelve European countries, as well as a High-level debate in the European Parliament on 10 December 2014.
Today, the EEG is constituted of 12 organisations: COFACE (Confederation of Family Organisations in the EU), EASPD (European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities), EDF (European Disability Forum), ENIL/ECCL (European Network on Independent Living/European Coalition for Community Living), ESN (European Social Network), Eurochild, FEANTSA (European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless), Inclusion Europe, Lumos, Mental Health Europe, as well as the United Nations‘ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Regional Office for Europe and UNICEF.