On 10 July 2014, the European Commission referred Finland to the Court of Justice of the EU for failure to set up an equality body attributed with the tasks required by Article 13 of the Racial Equality Directive, in the field of employment. According to the Directive the Member States are required to set up a national equality body which must be formally entrusted with the tasks of providing assistance to victims, conducting independent surveys, publishing independent reports and making recommendations concerning discrimination.
The country report for Finland of the European Network of Legal Experts in the non-discrimination field, managed by MPG in collaboration with Human European Consultancy, raises the concern of the inadequacy of the Finnish equality body, the Ombudsman for minorities, which is not equipped with the necessary mandate to perform the tasks required by the Directive. Following a Letter of Formal Notice and a Reasoned Opinion, the European Commission has now concluded that the efforts of the Member State to comply with the requirements of the Directive are insufficient, and is therefore referring Finland to the Court of Justice.
As the European Network of Legal Experts in the non-discrimination field has reported, the Finnish Government submitted a proposal to the national parliament in April 2014 to adopt a new Non-Discrimination Act. This proposal fails however to address the issue of the inadequacy of the national equality body, and the Commission therefore finds that a referral to Court may incite the parliament to introduce the necessary amendments in the Act to ensure compliance with Article 13 of the Directive.