The General Assembly of Equinet Members met in Brussels on 4 December 2014 for the 2014 Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The AGM brought together heads and senior management representatives from all Equinet member national equality bodies. We were also privileged to welcome external experts and representatives from EU Institutions and key stakeholders to discuss important developments in the field of equality at a European level and engage with equality bodies on these key priorities. These included Ms. Salla Saastaimonen, Director for Equality, European Commission DG Justice, Ms. Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament (via video message) and Ms. Jean Lambert MEP.
The AGM 2014 was particularly important as it saw the adoption by Equinet Members of the Equinet Strategic Plan 2015-2018 and the addition of a new Equinet Member from Albania.
The Strategic Plan for 2015 to 2018 has four main objectives:
Apart from continued capacity-building and consolidation of the network and its members, there is a new focus on contributing more to the European Equality Agenda and establishing Equinet as a knowledge and communication hub on equal treatment.
The Strategic Plan is supported by the 2015 Work Plan which clearly outlines the activities and outputs that are planned for the year and links them to the respective objectives that they aim to meet.
The Albanian Commissioner for the Protection from Discrimination was created after the Assembly of the Republic of Albania passed law No. 10 221, "For the protection against discrimination" in 2010. This institution exercises its authority independently to ensure efficient protection from discrimination and any kind of behaviour which incites discrimination. It was established thanks to an initiative by civil society, which prepared the draft law as a result of EU requests regarding the steps to be taken by Albania towards the progress and European integration process. It also reflected the engagement of the Albanian authorities regarding the respect for human rights, equality and non-discrimination.
The position is currently held by Ms. Irma Baraku who was elected in April 2010.
A number of presentations were held throughout the day. They are available by clicking on the links below.
Presentation of the Equinet activities in 2014 by Ms. Evelyn Collins, Chair of the Equinet Executive Board
Presentation of the Equinet Work Plan 2015 and the Equinet Strategic Plan 2015 - 2018 by Ms. Evelyn Collins, Chair of the Equinet Executive Board
Presentation on EU priorities on equality and non-discrimination and the contribution of equality bodies by Ms. Tena Simonovic-Einwalter, Moderator of Equinet Working Group Policy Formation and Executive Board Member