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EC releases joint report on implementation of EU non-discrimination Directives

January 20th 2014

The European Commission released a joint report on the implementation of the Race Equality and the Employment Equality Directives. According to the report, key challenges include a lack of public awareness of rights and underreporting of discrimination cases.

To ensure that EU rights to equal treatment are properly applied on the ground, the Commission recommends Member States endeavour to facilitate reporting of discrimination for victims by improving access to complaints mechanisms. "National equality bodies have a crucial role to play and the Commission will continue to support the networking of equality bodies and ensure that they can effectively perform their tasks, as required by EU law".

The report also stresses the need "to strengthen the role of the national equality bodies as watchdogs for equality as a means to make a crucial contribution to more effective implementation and application of the Directives".

Furthermore, it is highlighted that according to EU law "the Member States are obliged to ensure that equality bodies have the powers and the resources that are necessary to provide assistance to victims of discrimination. In view of a growing number of concerns in that respect, the Commission is currently scrutinising more widely the Member States’ compliance with the requirements of this Directive (and the gender equality Directives) concerning the national equality bodies. This involves checking that each equality body has the required mandate and powers, but also that it actually effectively performs all the tasks set out in the Directive".

More information can be accessed on this page and the report can be downloaded here.