Did you Know?

The European Union (EU) does not accept theories that have the underlying concept of 'separate human races', and continues to fight against discrimination.


EDC News: EU’s Fight Against Discrimination

The underlying principle of the EU is equality to all and to reflect this it has developed different antidiscrimination policies and legislation. The initial focus of the EU against discrimination was based on nationality and gender. The scope of the EU’s focus expanded in 2000, where it implemented legislations addressing discrimination against sexual orientation, disability, age, racial or ethnic origin, and religion or belief (Treaty on the functioning of the European Union (TFEU) Article 19 and European Convention on Human Rights Article 14). The expansion included two innovative European Commission Directives:

  • General framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (DIR/2000/78/EC) 27 November 2000

  • Implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin (DIR/2000/43/EC) 29 June 2000

These Directives presented intense challenges to the existing methods of fighting discrimination across Europe as they require Member States to provide efficient sanctions and remedies against discrimination. It is also a prerequisite for Associate Members to make the necessary changes to their national law to conform to these 'Directives'.

Although, all Member States have now transposed both of these directives into their national law discrepancies still persist. For instance, Hungary’s national law on educational policies are not in line with the Racial Equality Directive (DIR/2000/43/EC) as it does not ensure Roma children enjoy access to quality education on the same terms as all other children. The directive requires equal treatment regarding education regardless of racial or ethnic origin (EC Press release 26 May 2016). Under Article 258 TFEU (ex-article 226 TEC), the European Commission can launch infringement proceedings against member states that fail to comply with these directives.

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