This Policy Brief reports on an exploration of German care home providers’ experiences to move (or not to move) their activities to Austria in the context of EU regulations. The exploratory study in the context of the EU FP7 project ‘Evaluating Care Across Borders’ (ECAB) was based on three interviews with relevant stakeholders in Austria.
Personal relationships seem to be the only lever to overcome restrictive access mechanisms for new care home providers in Austria. While the legal framework would allow anybody to build a care home, the economic feasibility is another pair of shoes.
EU regulations are interpreted in different ways across Member States, based on national policies and pathways that might block cross-border provision. The fragile legal situation of Social Services of General Interest / SSGI warrants further debates about national strategies, transparency and the role of market mechanisms in this sector.