This year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on the 9 October 2015 in Brussels and gathered representatives of equality bodies from across Europe, as well as various stakeholders from Europe and the U.S, to reflect on Equinet’s work over the past year and to discuss and take decisions for the future of the network.
The AGM brought together heads and senior management representatives of the majority of Equinet member national equality bodies. We were privileged to welcome external experts and representatives from EU Institutions and key stakeholders to discuss important developments in the field of equality and engage with equality bodies on these key priorities. These included:
- Salla Saastaimonen, Director for Equality, European Commission DG Justice
- Jenny R. Yang, Chair, US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Watch her speech here)
- Andreas Stein, Head of Unit Equality legislation, European Commission DG Justice
- Christian Åhlund, Chair of European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, Council of Europe
- John Morijn, Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the EU
- External speakers: S, Saastaimonen, J. Yang, A. Stein, C. Åhlund, J. Morijn
Election of new Executive Board
During the AGM, elections were held to appoint the new Equinet Executive Board (2015 - 2017), which is composed of the following members:
- Evelyn COLLINS, Chief Executive, Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland
- Kosana BEKER, Assistant to the Commissioner for Protection of Equality, Commissioner for Protection of Equality, Serbia
- Sarah BENICHOU, Head of ‘Access to Rights and Discriminations’ Unit, Defender of Rights, France
- Anna BŁASZCZAK, Deputy Director of the Department of Equal Treatment and Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Human Rights Defender, Poland
- Patrick CHARLIER, Acting Director, Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities, Belgium
- Sandra KONSTATZKY, Deputy Director, Ombud for Equal Treatment, Austria
- Elisabeth LIER HAUGSETH, Deputy Ombud, The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud, Norway
- Kalliopi LYKOVARDI, Coordinator of Anti-Discrimination Unit, Greek Ombudsman, Greece
- Petr POLAK, Head of the Division of Equal Treatment, Public Defender of Rights, Czech Republic
The first meeting of this new board took place after the AGM and chose Evelyn Collins (Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland) as the Executive Board Chair 2015-2017.
- Equinet Executive Board 2015-2017 (taken Oct. 2015): K. Beker, P. Charlier, E. Collins, E. Lier Haugseth, S. Konstatzky, K. Lykovardi, P. Polak, A. Blaszczak (missing S. Benichou)
Equinet Membership grows to 45 members in 33 countries
Following unanimous ratification of new membership applications, Equinet is pleased to welcome three new members, raising Equinet’s membership to 45 national equality bodies from across Europe:
- Austrian Disability Ombudsman, Austria (Website)
- Ombudswoman for Persons with Disabilities, Croatia (Website)
- The Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms (Ombudsman), Montenegro (Website)
- B. Lanner (Austrian Disability Ombudsman), B. Meic Salie (Ombudswoman for Persons with Disabilities), S. Bjekovic (The Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms)
Equinet Work Plan 2016 is adopted by members
The Work Plan presents an overview of the main goals and targets for the year ahead, as well as the main activities, initiatives and other means of achieving those goals.
- Equinet Work Plan 2016
Launch of Equinet Highlights 2014-2015
On the occasion of its AGM, we launched our latest publication, the Equinet Highlights, which brings together the main highlights of our work, including events, publications and other activities, that were carried out from January 2014 to July 2015 in order to attain our strategic goals, as set out in the Strategic Plan 2015-2018.
For additional photographs of the event, please see the photos section of our website or click here.