Every mother should have access to the long-term care she needs and deserves

20.04.24

In a timely joint statement, we at Make mothers Matter, along with 16 European NGOs, have urged EU policymakers to prioritise long-term care in the upcoming 2024-2029 legislature. This call comes as the Belgian presidency of the EU focuses on strengthening the European Pillar of Social Rights, with a specific emphasis on Principle 18 – the right to long-term care.

The Urgency for Action

The statement highlights several critical issues plaguing long-term care across Europe, including:

  • Underinvestment : Insufficient funding for long-term care services
  • Inadequate Social Protection : Lack of comprehensive support systems for both care recipients and providers
  • Limited Person-Centered Care : A deficit of services that prioritise individual needs and preferences
  • Staff Shortages : A growing need for qualified personnel in the long-term care sector.

These issues put pressure on a system already struggling to meet the growing demand for quality care. In the joint statement, the contributing NGOs, have formed a united front to persevere in improving this situation and ultimately, the quality of the long-term care experience within Europe.

Recommendations and Demands

The joint statement proposes several key actions to address these challenges, including, the establishment of a European Long-Term Care Platform. This platform would foster collaboration between national authorities, civil society organizations (like MMM), care providers, and social partners. By facilitating dialogue and information sharing, it would promote effective implementation of the EU’s Long-Term Care Strategy.

The statement also calls for the implementation of the Council Recommendation on Long-Term Care (2022) meaning that Member States need to develop and submit ambitious national plans by June 2024, focusing on affordability, accessibility, and quality of care.

And finally, it addresses the need for Transformational Investments. The latter, in order to shift the approach to long-term care funding, viewing it as an investment in Europe’s social and economic well-being, not just a cost.

Long-Term Care specific mothers’ demands

In addition to the joint statement common demands, we at MMM on behalf of the mothers we represent, ask for long-term care-related measures that address in a comprehensive way the particular challenges and disadvantages they encounter.

As outlined in a separate policy paper we believe that it is imperative to draw attention to the long-term care demands of women in relation to the gender pension gap. One of the primary reasons for this inequality is the time that women spend on unpaid labor activities such as care. This time is not yet recognised nor recalculated in terms of pension benefits and is a source of economic and social injustice, impacting not only the economic and financial situation of mothers and their families, but also their mental and physical health.

Therefore, we advocate for a better protection for mothers in order to prevent negative consequences later in life and also in respect to their long-term care options. As a solution, we urge the EU to:

  • Implement a Care Credit System that awards pension credits for time taken to fulfill care activities at different stages of a mother’s life and to recognise and value unpaid care work in a broader sense
  • Conduct a reform of the Survivor’s Pensions systems to address rising divorce rates in order to reduce the social exclusion of older women and their dependency on their (ex)husband’s pensions
  • Alongside that, we believe that the promotion of Intergenerational Cohousing responds to the wish of a person-centered alternative solution in old age. Studies demonstrate that it helps lower housing costs, prevents feelings of loneliness or isolation, allows older women to remain active and in good mental and physical health
  • Finally, we believe that it is necessary to revalue Part Time Work in pension calculations, increase the availability and access to Retirement Saving Plans, with a focus on predominantly female sectors, and incentivise women to actively engage in the latter.

A Call to Action

MMM calls for the implementation of a strong EU Care Strategy that includes solutions to the needs of mothers and women, a more robust and person-centered long-term care system across Europe with a women’s/mother’s lens approach and the establishment of a dedicated EU platform.

Read MMM’s full policy paper on Long-Term Care.

Most read articles

MMM welcomes first ever Human Rights Council resolution on Care

11.10.23

UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - Entitled ‘Centrality of care and support from a human rights perspective’, this landmark resolution was presented by the governments of Argentina, Iceland, Mexico

Lire plus

A snapshot of our Women at the Peace Table Conference

20.06.23

It was by all accounts, a remarkable gathering of global peacemakers. They came from all over the world to lend their voice and support to the message of the Conference:

Lire plus

Call to action: make 2024 the EU year for Women’s Mental Health

09.10.23

In June this year, the European Union (EU) Commission announced a new high-priority initiative to address the mental health of all Europeans.

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

News from the MMM European Delegation

Mothers Can-Bringing mothers back to work

13.05.24

MMM is working on the project “Mothers Can-Bringing mothers back to work”, a European partnership between six countries (Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Romania, Spain and Greece). The project aims to support mot

Read more

Breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty by investing in children and their families

07.05.24

Make Mothers Matter participated in the conference “Investing in an inclusive and fair future for Europe. European Child Guarantee: from engagement to reality", organised within the framework of the Belgian p

Read more

La Hulpe Declaration: positive step for social justice in the EU

07.05.24

MMM welcomes the recent adoption of La Hulpe Declaration, under the Belgian presidency. This inter-institutional document aims at shaping the future social agenda of the European Union for the period 2024-2029.

Read more

Every mother should have access to the long-term care she needs and deserves

20.04.24

In a timely joint statement, we at Make mothers Matter, along with 16 European NGOs, have urged EU policymakers to prioritise long-term care in the upcoming 2024-2029 legislature. This call comes as the Belgian

Read more

Empowering Families for a Better Tomorrow Insights from We Learn Everywhere Conference

13.02.24

This event, marked by insightful presentations and discussions, addressed the challenges and opportunities that exist in parenting within our complex society and highlighted the tools created to provide parents

Read more

Parental tools for mental wellbeing: join us in Brussels to find out the results

09.01.24

The "We Learn Everywhere" (WLE) project is a pioneering initiative that has made significant strides in promoting family well-being through education and support for parents and children across Europe. As this

Read more