Together with the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care, Eurochild calls for continued investment in policies and funds to support community based care systems.
As the EU reflects on its future and its finances, the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (EEG), has prepared a response to ensure that the Post-2020 EU Budget continues to provide opportunities to improve the lives of over one million adults and children still living in long-stay residential institutions across Europe.
Eurochild, together with other organisations in the EEG, calls for investment in the deinstitutionalisation process and for the transformation towards innovative, personcentred family- and community-based support, health and housing services.
In the last Multi-annual Financial Framework, the EU prioritised deinstitutionalisation through a Cohesion Policy which aims, among other things, to lift people out of poverty and social exclusion, and through the introduction of the ex-ante conditionalities, which help ensuring that EU funds support the transition from institutional to community-based services.
For example, in some Member States, children and adults with disabilities were helped to leave institutions through the use of the European Structural and Investment Funds, which financed the development of community-based alternatives. Thanks to these funds, some of the children who were previously housed in institutions and orphanages, were supported to return to their families or placed in family-based care; or were supported to access education, all of which allowed them to develop to their full potential.
Similarly, Member States such as Bulgaria, Romania and Latvia have been supported to reform their child protection systems, allowing children to grow up in family and community-based care.
These are good examples of how the EU can make a real difference in the lives of people who are among the most socially excluded, however there is still a strong need for investment in the deinstitutionalisation process and for the transformation towards innovative, person-centred family- and community-based support, health and housing services.
Considering the great potential that Cohesion Policy has in changing lives and supporting deinstitutionalisation, the EEG strongly encourages the EU to assume a leading role in social issues by renewing and increasing the Cohesion Policy budget in the next Multi-annual Financial Framework and invest in the transition from institutions to high-quality community-based services that promote social inclusion in all EU Member States.
The EEG believes the EU can do even more to support and calls for:
Further investment into Cohesion Policy in the next Multi-annual Financial Framework;
Strengthening, extending, and ensuring the efficient monitoring of the ex-ante conditionalities on the transition from institutions to community based care and services;
Reform and simplification of the funding processes.
More information can be found on the EEG response to the reflection paper on the future of EU finances.