In October Assumpta Kelly and Theresa Olohan of Special Hands were invited by the Carers Association to attend a summit in Brussells. Assumpta kindly wrote a brief Summary of the Meeting of EU Carers Interest GroupMarian Harkin MEP is one of 4 MEPs on Carers Interest Group at EU level. 3 others are from UK, Finland & Austria. She chairs meeting and drives the Agenda. Panel at meeting included reps from Economic/Financial DG, Eurocarers, Age Platform Europe, European Assoc of Service Providers for people with Disabilities, and European Federation of Nurses.
Carers Interest Group is 8 years in place and consults widely with all EU members and gathers data and also links in at EU level with other EU Directorates. This ensures carers are on the Agenda. Items highlighted were cuts in funding, mainly women as carers, need for workplace flexibility, informal carers, future use of IT based solutions to assist, cross border healthcare directive, respite, varying services in Ireland and even more varied in Europe. As Theresa said each County represented got a chance to speak briefly. We will continue to link with Marian Harkins office. Her contact details are on her website if any one has a specific matter they wish to raise with her. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting the 27 other reps from Ireland who attended and will keep links with the Carers Association in the future.
Full details from the meeting will be on a website we can link to in the coming weeks. I will share the link when I get it.