Reports of the final conference now available!

The final conference of the WeDO Project was held on 14 November, followed by a WeDO partnership meeting on 15 November.

The conference, which gathered around 120 participants, aimed at presenting the outcome of the WeDO project, i.e. the EU quality framework and the EU partnership.  It was chaired and hosted by Mr. Heinz K. Becker, MEP and Co-Chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.

The Opening session was a good opportunity to gather the views from high level stakeholders at EU policy level. Mr. Von Nordheim, DG EMPL, welcomed the very good results from the WeDO project, speaking of ‘state of the art’ in the field, and appreciated the continuity of the partnership after the end of the project. Ms. Papamichalopoulou, DG JUST, mentioned the upcoming Eurobarometer on discrimination and indicated that age discrimination is becoming a key priority for the EC. Mr. Toomey, Irish Coordinator of the European Year 2012 and representative of the Irish Presidency, added that the EU quality framework will be a reference document in all policy work regarding long-term care in Ireland.

Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary-General, presented the EU quality framework to the participants. Her presentation was completed with 5 examples of national strategies in Belgium, Austria, Ireland, Czech Republic and Sweden.

The panel discussion aimed at treating different aspects of the implementation of the EU quality framework. Ms. Iglesia Gomez, DG SANCO, insisted on the link to be made between the WeDO Project results and the European Innovation Partnership on Active and healthy ageing.  Mr. Dominkus, Director General of the Slovene Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs, gave the example of implementation of the quality framework in Slovenia and stated that the document will be useful for upcoming legislation in Slovenia on quality long-term care and the fight against elder abuse. Mr. Leichsenring, European Centre for Social Welfare and Research, linked the WeDO results to the results of the Interlinks project on the specific item on the ‘identity of long-term care’ and provided recommendations for the implementation of the Quality framework.  Mr. Anderson, Eurofound and Eurocarers, welcomed the high recognition in the quality framework of the role of informal carers adding several challenges: the sustainability of the LTC system, the need to include social partners. Finally, Mr. Sedmak, AGE President and Slovene partner in the WeDO project, completed the presentations by insisting on the need to reconstruct welfare states. In Slovenia, the challenge is to gather the organisations of Mayors and work together to implement the EU quality framework.  The questions from the participants raised a number of issues regarding the follow-up of the work, the need to work on palliative care, the challenge of the current austerity measures and the gender inequalities.

Mr Heinz K. Becker concluded on the need to support social entrepreneurship to drive change and let Mr. Dominkus, member of the SPC sub working group on ageing, explain that the Social Protection Committee sub-group on ageing will develop a report on LTC by 2014 and will get inspiration from the WeDO EU quality framework and will cooperate with AGE Platform Europe.

A press release was sent by AGE on 14 November. All the presentations and documents of the event (and the upcoming conference report) are available here.

The reports are now available online:

A big thanks to all the participants, speakers and especially to MEP Heinz Becker who hosted and chaired the event!

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This project is cofinanced by the European Commission
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