The fact that the role of family carers often go unrecognised and unsupported, with many adverse consequences (disrupted employment and loss of income, poor health, stress, risk of social exclusion, and last but not least, lesser quality of the care provided) prompted the Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union (COFACE) to call for political initiatives in this field. The European Charter for Family Carers, drafted by the COFACE-HANDICAP makes a variaty of proposals to decision makers related to improvement of family cacres status. To develop the Charter and to raise the public awereness in more European countries COFACE initiated in cooperation with one of its Bulgarian member - Center of Women's Studies and Policies a high level European seminar which was organized in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 20 October 2009 .
The seminar aimed at raising awareness within the realm of policy makers on this issue, and at putting forward solutions both at national and European level. The seminar then considered what role the European Union can play, from giving impetus to national policies in the field of long-term care to promoting training of family carers and professionals through its Lifelong Learning Programme. The seminar gathered a wide range of stakeholders, including European Commission's representatives, NGOs from all over Europe, and Bulgarian participants from ministries, service providers, and various associations.