Vilans is one of the founders of Eurocarers, the European network representing informal carers and their organisations, irrespective of the particular age or health need of the person they are caring for.
Significance of informal care
The aim of Eurocarers is to advance the issue of informal care at both national and EU levels by raising awareness of the significant contribution made by carers to health and social care systems and the economy as a whole, and of the need to safeguard this contribution; and by ensuring that EU and national policies take account of carers, i.e. promote social inclusion of carers, the development of support services for carers, enable them to remain active in paid employment and maintain a social life.
From 2004-2009 Henk Nies was the vice-chairman of the Eurocarers board.