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A combination of demographic, social and macro-economic developments have put long-term care schemes in nearly all EU countries under severe pressures they were not intended to cope with. Adopting a cross-national comparative approach and combining existing literature with empirical findings, this exploratory study provides standardised information on the organisation and financing of long-term care for the elderly in the Union, and evaluates the respective merits of selected schemes – i.e. France, Germany and the UK – in meeting emerging pressures. It discusses the advantages and disadvantages of individual schemes using ‘equity’ and ‘efficiency’ criteria as an evaluation framework. Based on this evaluation, it offers reflections that may serve as a starting-point for policy strategies. In addition, it provides an analysis of the relationship between different long-term care arrangements and welfare state models.