The Migration Policy Group and Human European Consultancy have established and manage a Network of independent legal experts in the non-discrimination field that provides independent information and advice on the implementation of the Article 19 TFEU anti-discrimination Directives in all 27 Member States. In addition to the EU Member States, the candidate countries Turkey, Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are also part of the Network.
Cooperation with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders may facilitate the expeditious and timely gathering of information on developments in law and policies. It facilitates dialogue on how these developments are to be interpreted (in conformity with EU law or not) and how certain legal problems can be best addressed.
The quality of the information is crucially important for the proper implementation of the EU directives.
The network, 33 country experts for each of the EU Member States, EFTA countries and candidate countries, is run by a management team led by the Migration Policy Group and Human European Consultancy. An Executive Committee supports the Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator to ensure the scientific quality of the work. The Executive Committee consists of senior experts covering the five grounds of discrimination and a highly qualified senior expert in EU law.
What we do
The task of the Network is to produce information, advice and reports.
The information includes:
- The transposition of the Racial Equality Directive and the Employment Equality Directive
- Their practical implementation
- National initiatives in the field on anti-discrimination legislation and related policy developments
- The impact of national court rulings that have the effect of establishing jurisprudence on the level of protection provided by national law against discrimination
- The potential conformity of national developments with the requirements of Community law
- The impact of judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights on national law
The Network produces:
- Coordinator: Piet Leunis, Human European Consultancy
- Deputy Coordinator, Content Manager: Isabelle Chopin, Migration Policy Group
- Project Management Assistant: Andrea Trotter, Human European Consultancy
- Researcher/Editor: Catharina Germaine-Sahl, Migration Policy Group
- Lilla Farkas, Migration Policy Group (race and ethnic origin including Roma)
- Mark Freedland, Oxford University (age)
- Isabelle Rorive, Free University Brussels (religion and belief)
- Christa Tobler, Leiden University and Basel University (European law)
- Renata Uitz, Central European University Budapest (sexual orientation)
- Lisa Waddington, Maastricht University (disability)
- Austria: Dieter Schindlauer
- Belgium: Emmanuelle Bribosia
- Bulgaria: Margarita Ilieva
- Croatia: Lovorka Kusan
- Cyprus: Corina Demetriou
- Czech Republic: Pavla Boucková
- Denmark: Pia Justesen
- Estonia: Vadim Poleshchuk
- Finland: Rainer Hiltunen
- France: Sophie Latraverse
- FYR of Macedonia: Biljana Kotevska
- Germany: Matthias Mahlmann
- Greece: Athanassios Theodoridis
- Hungary: András Kádár
- Iceland: Gudrun D. Gudmundsdottir
- Ireland: Orlagh O’Farrell
- Italy: Chiara Favilli
- Latvia: Anhelita Kamenska
- Liechtenstein: Wilfried Marxer
- Lithuania: Gediminas Andriukaitis
- Luxembourg: Tania Hoffmann
- Malta: Tonio Ellul
- Netherlands: Rikki Holtmaat
- Norway: Else Leona McClimans
- Poland: Lukasz Bojarski
- Portugal: Manuel Malheiros
- Romania: Romanita Iordache
- Slovakia: Janka Debreceniov
- Slovenia: Neza Kogovsek
- Spain: Lorenzo Cachón Rodríguez
- Sweden: Per Norberg
- Turkey: Dilek Kurban
- United Kingdom: Aileen McColgan
EUROPEAN ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LEGAL NETWORK WORK IN USE
On 17 January 2014 the European Commission adopted its implementation report on the state of implementation of the Racial Equality Directive and the Employment Equality Directive in the 28 EU Member States. The extensive report is largely based on the country specific reports produced and updated annually by the European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-Discrimination field managed by MPG and Human European Consultancy. It also includes additional analytical information provided by the European Network.
In this third implementation report of the anti-discrimination Directives the European Commission notes that all 28 EU Member States have transposed the Directives and have developed some experience in working within this framework. The Commission therefore focuses its report on the application of the Directives by the Member States as well as their interpretation by the Court of Justice of the EU and by national courts. The report also identifies the challenges that remain in some countries, such as a lack of awareness and underreporting of discrimination cases, a lack of equality data and problems in relation to access to justice for claimants. In addition, an important challenge relates to the remedies and sanctions available in cases where a finding of discrimination is made, as these cannot always be said to fulfil the requirement of effectiveness, dissuasiveness and proportionality as imposed by the Directives. All these issues in relation to the correct application and interpretation of the Directives have been raised previously by the Legal Network in its publications, for instance in the comparative report Developing Anti-Discrimination Law in Europe.
 In 2006 and 2008 respectively, the European Commission had adopted separate implementation reports; COM(2006) 643 final, 30.10.2006, on Directive 2000/43/EC and COM(2008) 225 final/2, 8.7.2008, on Directive 2000/78/EC.
According to the European Commission’s 2012 review of the PROGRESS programme, the report The prohibition of discrimination under European human rights law: Relevance for the EU non-discrimination directives — an update is among the five top most appreciated PROGRESS-funded outputs.
The report, authored by Olivier De Schutter and produced by the European Network of Legal Experts in the field of discrimination, gives an overview on the protection from discrimination under the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights and the 1961 European Social Charter as well as the 1996 Revised European Social Charter, which are the main human rights treaties of the Council of Europe.
The report seeks to identify aspects of that protection which could influence the outstanding questions of interpretation of Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin and Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, as well as the proposed Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.
The European Network of Legal Experts in the field of discrimination is co-managed by MPG and HEC.
EUROPEAN ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LEGAL NETWORK WORK IN CONTEXT
Credits: US Embassy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The European Commission has initiated infringement proceedings against the Czech Republic for failure to correctly implement the Racial Equality Directive, due to systemic discrimination of Roma children in schools. The discrimination that has been taking place in the Czech school system includes segregation processes directing Roma children towards special schools for children with mild mental disabilities and segregated classes exclusively for Roma pupils.
The infringement proceedings follow numerous signals by the European Network of Legal Experts in the non-discrimination field through its publications, including the annual country reports for the Czech Republic, the comparative analyses published annually and the thematic report Segregation of Roma children in Education: Addressing Structural Discrimination through the Race Equality Directive, written by Lilla Farkas and published already in 2007. MPG welcomes these infringement proceedings, hoping that they will bring about equal access to education for children in the Czech Republic, irrespective of ethnic origin and free from discrimination on any ground.
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.
Are you looking for past news and events related to the European Anti-discrimination Legal Network?
News and events prior to 2012 are available in our archive.