On 23 September 2009, a Report on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care was handed over to Commissioner Vladimír Špidla.
The Report was drafted by a group of independent experts convened by Commissioner Spidla in February 2009 to address the issues of institutional care reform in their complexity.
Across the EU many people of all ages and different conditions (elderly, children, persons with disabilities or mental health problems) live in residential institutions which tend to segregate them from the community. Recent studies and research funded by the Commission provide evidence in support of transition from institutional care to community-based alternatives.
The work of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care moves one step beyond the analysis offered by the studies. It offers not only rationale for change but also advice on how to achieve it (and also what to avoid), distilled from the experience acquired in those Member States where such reforms have already been carried out. The Report provides an analysis of key challenges, followed by a set of Common Basic Principles and concrete recommendations to Member States and the European Commission. In particular, it recommends to build those principles into all the relevant EU policies, including the next EU Disability Strategy (from 2010 onwards), as far as it regards the promotion of the right of all persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community.