Parliamentary questions
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15 September 2020
Question for oral answer O-000057/2020/rev.1
to the Commission
Rule 136
Frances Fitzgerald, Dennis Radtke
on behalf of the PPE Group
 Subject: Holistic EU action in the field of care, including childcare, care for elderly people and persons with disabilities – towards a European Care Strategy

In relation to the provision of care, issues such as care for persons in elderly care homes and the relentless burden of providing care to those with chronic illnesses or disabilities, as well as the pressure working parents face in providing and paying for childcare, have all been exposed by COVID-19. In general, less than half of the more than 32 million children below the age of compulsory education have access to early childhood services in the EU. In terms of care for older persons, demand is outstripping supply, with the provision of care in long‑term facilities being noted as a particular problem. Accurate data collection on the care available in the EU, disaggregated by type of care, particularly for the chronically ill and persons with disabilities, is needed.

More than 50 % of under‑65s combine care with employment, of which most are women. Care responsibilities are one of the main reasons that women participate less in the labour market, with many either reducing their working hours or leaving paid work. Available data prove the existence of a gender care gap, which influences the gender pension gap. The failure to regularise the care provided by informal carers is highly problematic.

1. Could the Commission outline what resources have been spent on the provision of care services and under which programmes of the existing multiannual financial framework (MFF)?

2. Will it outline what resources from the 2021-2027 MFF it intends to use to meet the demand for care services and to address the low labour market participation of women?

3. Will it utilise synergies between programmes for lifelong learning, research and infrastructural development for the provision of care services?

4. Does it intend to collect data on the provision of different types of care, in view of the Gender Equality Strategy and the implications of the COVID-19 crisis?

5. Will it use that data to further examine the care gap with a view to developing a European Care Strategy to enhance equality, boost employment and ensure the provision of quality care?

6. Will it act as a platform to facilitate the exchange of best practices in quality, accessible and affordable care services, as well as in the different care service models?

7. Will it consider examining the situation of informal carers and sharing the Member States’ best practices in regularising their care work?

Submitted: 15/09/2020

Lapses: 16/12/2020

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