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Membership Criteria and Benefits

April 12th 2012

Membership criteria - who should join?

The specialised equality bodies united in Equinet are established on the basis of:

  • Article 13 of the Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC), Article 8bis of Directive 76/207/EEC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions
  • Article 12 of the Gender Equality Directive regarding goods and services (2004/113/EC) and Article 20 of the recasting Gender Equality Directive (2006/54/EC) with regard to equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation.

Equinet and its members are independent from (yet transparent for and accountable to) governmental structures and a variety of other stakeholders in society, such as legislative bodies, interest groups, the media, NGOs and society at large.

If established on the basis of the above articles and based in an EU Member State, accession state or EEA state, your organisation can become a member of Equinet and enjoy the standard benefits available to the members of the network.

In some cases your organisation may be granted an Observer status, for instance in transitional periods for implementing EU requirements to be established as a specialised equality body. Observers can participate in meetings but cannot take part in the decision-making process and do not enjoy the full range of benefits of membership in the network. The observer status is also limited in time.

Membership benefits - why join?

  • Exchange experiences, legal expertise, enforced strategies and good practices on discrimination issues and equal opportunities with other equality bodies;
  • Emphasise the key role of equality bodies in the implementation of current and future anti-discrimination legislation;
  • Learn from the experience of other equality bodies and receive essential peer support;
  • Further develop equality body skills, capacities and independence;
  • Speak with a stronger, more united voice from equality bodies across Europe;
  • Engage with stakeholders, civil society organisations and other networks at European level that share a common interest in anti-discrimination and equal opportunities-related issues;
  • Raise your profile as a specialised equality body through European cooperation.

More specific and practical benefits are:

  • Participate in staff trainings and meetings with legal experts and other members of the network;
  • Take the opportunity to host a training with the support of the network staff and use the occasion to gain visibility at European level;
  • Participate in other events, seminars, conferences and research initiatives;
  • Learn from more experienced equality bodies;
  • Participate in (at least) one of Equinet’s Working Groups;
  • Access a system of electronic information exchange via the members’ section of this website (including the Equinet forum).

Relevant information material on Equinet

For further details on the application procedure: