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Harnessing the potential of EU accession to drive care reform: Highlight on Ukraine and Moldova


Staff member
Mar 21, 2024
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Over the previous twenty years, the European Union (EU) has develop into a worldwide chief in care reform for kids, first inside its borders, and, extra just lately, past.

At present, all EU funding laws and related insurance policies comprise measures for shifting from institutional to household and community-based care, because of the continual, shut collaboration between civil society and the EU establishments.

Nonetheless, we have now more and more been advocating for transferring this method to the EU accession course of.

EU candidate nations share a standard aspiration: turning into an EU Member State. To attain this, they need to undertake reforms in quite a few areas and align with the EU requirements, the so known as ‘EU acquis’. As Hope and Houses for Kids, we attempt to make sure that the EU displays and helps little one safety and care system reform in EU candidate nations, as an integral a part of their accession journey.

And we’re beginning to see some very promising current developments.

Advancing care reform all through Europe​

In October, the European Fee advisable additional development of care reform in all ten 2023 Progress Reviews that represent the EU Enlargement Package deal. This brings an unprecedented alternative for simultaneous care reform processes all through Europe, that would successfully result in the top of kid institutionalisation, and end in kids rising up in secure and caring households.

These are simply among the related excerpts from the stories:

  • De-institutionalisation actions are happening, however should be additional taken ahead at a adequate tempo. (Albania)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina must urgently develop and undertake a deinstitutionalisation technique to maneuver in the direction of community-based care.
  • Georgia lacks a nationwide technique on the de-institutionalisation of kids. Nonetheless, the federal government has made steps to deinstitutionalise remaining non-state regulated spiritual residential establishments. Additional measures are wanted to handle the shortage of correct requirements in boarding faculties.
  • A complete technique for little one safety is critical to speed up deinstitutionalisation and the transition in the direction of high quality, family- and community-based care companies, together with with an ample deal with getting ready kids to go away care. (Kosovo)
  • …deinstitutionalisation of kids with disabilities is progressing, [but] insufficiently certified workers, lack of assets and poor infrastructure hinder the specialised care and assist for institutionalised kids with disabilities. (Moldova)
  • The deinstitutionalisation technique, initially deliberate for This autumn 2022, has but to be adopted. (Montenegro)
  • Implementation of the 2018-2027 nationwide deinstitutionalisation technique continues. This includes a transition from institutional care to household and community-based care with assist from social companies. (North Macedonia)
  • implement and report in good time on the methods on anti-discrimination that features the rights of LGBTIQ individuals, gender equality, violence in opposition to girls, and deinstitutionalisation; actively counter hate-motivated crimes and set up a observe file of investigation and convictions (Serbia)
  • Ukraine ought to develop and undertake a complete de-institutionalisation reform of childcare and launch its implementation, contemplating the scenario of displaced kids within the upcoming 12 months.
  • Ample funding needs to be directed in the direction of reinforcing community-based care and guaranteeing correct deinstitutionalisation. Specific concern is attributable to the development of latest establishments following the earthquakes and the wars in Syria and Ukraine. (Turkey)

Studying from the previous: European Fee brown bag lunch on little one safety and care reform in EU enlargement nations

Bringing our expertise to bear​

Following the Enlargement Package deal publication, the Fee held an inside webinar, targeted on care reform, in shut collaboration with us and Lumos. EU representatives, based mostly in Brussels and EU candidate nations alike, joined the web occasion and shared key EU commitments and initiatives to assist little one safety and care reform in EU candidate nations. This occasion was a well timed alternative to debate present alternatives to advertise progress in nations within the technique of accessing EU membership with EU workers.

Alongside others, we shared insights from former and ongoing EU accession processes, particularly Bulgaria. Our colleagues gave joint suggestions on how to make sure little one safety and care reform is achieved within the midst of the EU accession course of. We shared classes learnt from Bulgaria, the place progress is right down to resolute political will and technical and monetary help from the European Union – together with pooled assets between the EU Directorate-Generals for Regional and City Coverage (DG REGIO) and Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (EMPL), and collaboration with civil society organisations like us.

Regardless of this, our consultants highlighted that efforts should be maintained to make sure the completion of kid care reform in Bulgaria, the place 4 establishments for younger kids with disabilities stay. This ‘trying again’ train resonated with our consultants from Ukraine and Moldova; our work in these nations will proceed to attract on our years of expertise working in previous and present EU accession nations alike.

Making care reform a actuality​

That is all very optimistic, however to ensure that care reform to essentially advance and be accomplished in a top quality and sustainable manner, it should be correctly funded. This could imply governments ensuring that among the Instrument for Pre-accession Help (IPA) III, the Neighbourhood, Improvement and Worldwide Cooperation (NDICI) funding, in addition to underneath any new funding instrument or bundle, are ringfenced for care reform. As we have now been operational in Ukraine and Moldova for many years, it is just pure that we observe extra intently the developments in these nations.

Lately, there have been two excellent alternatives for advancing their care reform: the Ukraine Facility Regulation and the EU Help Package deal for the Republic of Moldova.



  • the targets listed within the Ukraine Facility Regulation, reminiscent of
  1. contributing to the restoration, reconstruction and modernisation of the nation, and
  2. progressively aligning with the EU acquis
  • and the excessive variety of institutionalised kids, addressed additionally within the EC Opinion on Ukraine’s utility for membership of the European Union,

it’s logical that the Ukraine Facility, and the mirroring Ukraine Plan, assist a complete reform of the kid safety and care system in Ukraine.

Furthermore, the European Fee has already granted €10m to Ukraine for the event of a contemporary little one care technique. Funding its implementation is the subsequent step for securing household look after the 1000’s of institutionalised and orphaned kids, threatened by Russia’s battle of aggression in opposition to Ukraine.

As care reform was not included within the authentic EC proposal, we mobilised eleven key little one and incapacity rights Ukrainian and worldwide organisations and networks round joint proposals for amendments. The European Parliament has taken these on board of their report on the Regulation. We then directed our advocacy efforts in the direction of the Council and the Fee and are actually anticipating the result of the trialogues, the negotiations between the three EU decision-making our bodies.


Equally, the EU Help Package deal for the Republic of Moldova may very well be instrumental for finishing care reform for kids in Moldova. Particularly, when the 2022-2026 Nationwide Youngster Safety Programme and Motion Plan present the required base for finishing the care reform of kids. The implementation nevertheless has been delayed attributable to lack of assets. Our evaluation, endorsed by 11 Moldovan and worldwide organisations, demonstrates that care reform may very well be funded underneath two of the three Package deal priorities: Financial growth and connectivity and Administrative capability. A efficiently accomplished reform in an EU candidate nation will set an instance for all the opposite accession and accomplice nations.

The place there’s a will, there’s a manner​

Finally, systematic inclusion of kid care reform as a key, precedence requirement for EU accession requires resolute political will.

We imagine we will safe this by:

  • advocating in the direction of the EU to make sure it champions little one care reform within the negotiations in the direction of accession
  • supporting nationwide and regional little one care advocates, to allow them to seize alternatives to advocate for little one care reform within the context of EU accession.

To assist the launch and implementation of care reform in EU candidate nations, we’re at the moment engaged on producing guiding paperwork tailor-made to those two audiences. These construct on our many years of experiences within the European Jap Neighbourhood area. We’re launching them early subsequent 12 months, with the hope that they are going to be a useful gizmo for governments, EU establishments and civil society actors, engaged on care reform for kids.

Authors: Irina Papancheva, Marie Raverdeau
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