Friday, 22 August 2008

New EU anti-discrimination directive

Upon a proposal issued by the Commission in July, the Council of the European Union is discussing a new anti-discrimination directive.

The Commission document titled
"Implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation"
wants to supplement "the existing EC legal framework under which the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation applies only to employment, occupation and vocational training." You can find the Commission proposal from page 17 of the linked PDF file.

In a recently published document, the state of discussion in the EU Council is presented comprehensively. However, it is a pity that the positions of individual countries have been erased from the public version. What we know is the following:
All [member states'] delegations have general scrutiny reservations on the proposal at this stage. [Denmark], [France], [Malta] and [Poland] entered parliamentary scrutiny reservations. [Cyprus] entered a linguistic scrutiny reservation.
The proposed directive was also included in the documentation of an extraordinary meeting of the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (website) in July. So the Parliament should also be aware of this policy proposal.

Looks like this document will have some way to go.

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Antal Dániel said...

I think this peace of new legislation is an inevitable step. The European Court of Justice had incorporated a form of very comprehensive anti-discrimination policy in its judgments, because many cases were not be brought to justice without such elementary legal building blocks. Than came the first real legislative peaces after 2000 which were not fully coherent.

In many cases the evolving ECJ precedents trigger a proper legislation in EU law. I think this is the case here, and it is very welcome, judiciary legislation may be very dangerous as it really has no democratic underpinning.

What is a little bit disheartening that this is only a directive and not a binding regulation.I wonder what room member states want to have on the interpretation of discrimination against gender groups?