Earlier today, MPG’s director—Isabelle Chopin—addressed policymakers, EU institutions and civil society representatives at an European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) public hearing on ‘improving equality in the EU’ where she called for improvements to anti-discrimination legislation and policies within the EU. In doing so, she highlighted key gaps, including:
- A lack of independence and resources among equality bodies;
- A lack of awareness among the public, as well as a lack of training for the judiciary;
- Barriers to access courts and to justice in general, including the length of proceedings, complexity of anti-discrimination law, a lack of legal aid, lack of sufficient financial means to pursue a case and a lack of effective remedies;
- Lack of effective, proportionate and effective sanctions;
- The crucial role of civil society organisations and the necessity to see their legal standing ensured;
- The lack of uniformly recognised collective redress;
- The lack of governmental policies, such as Roma Strategies or Anti-racism plans including the inconsistent implementation and assessment of those that exist.
In concluding, Ms. Chopin stated that, while the legal protection against discrimination has enhanced immensely, there remain a number of gaps (outlined above) which could be addressed with the adoption of the long-standing ‘horizontal directive’, accompanying measures and further legislation notably regarding equality bodies to be presented by the Commission in September 2022.
About the EESC public hearing
In the words of EESC:
This hearing with the participation of EU institutions and civil society organisations in the framework of the preparation of an EESC own-initiative aims at closing the gaps and identifying ways to improve equality in Europe, including with an Equal Treatment Directive.
About the Migration Policy Group (MPG)
MPG is an independent think-and-do-tank based in Brussels. MPG’s purpose is rooted in its ability to inspire networks to provide evidence-based projects, research and campaigns in the areas of integration, migration and anti-discrimination.