Implementing European Anti-discrimination Law
Implementation of European legal standards for anti-discrimination
From 2001 to 2004, the Migration Policy Group worked with two partner organisations, Interights in London and the European Roma Rights Center in Budapest, on the project Implementing European Anti-Discrimation Law.
The aim was to monitor the implementation of Council Directive 2000/43/EC (Racial Equality Directive) and the ratification process of Protocol 12 which broadens the scope of the European Convention on Human Rights' Article 14.
The initiative involved 26 countries - originally the EU-15 and 11 candidate countries and from 1 May 2004, 8 new member states plus 3 candidate countries - Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.
The project based its work on national legal research conducted by local lawyers analysing existing legal provisions and relevant jurisprudence pertaining to racial and other forms of discrimination in comparison with the Racial Equality Directive and Protocol 12.
Project impetus: developments in anti-discrimination legislation
The 1999 Amsterdam Treaty inserted a new Article 13 in the EC Treaty, a general anti-discrimination provision, on the basis of which the European Commission presented three proposals: two legislative measures promoting equal treatment and prohibiting discrimination and an action programme. The Starting Line Group stimulated policy debates on these proposals throughout the European Union.
The Council Directive 2000/43/EC implementing the principle of equal of treatment between persons irrespective of ethnic origin was adopted on 29 June 2000, and was followed by the adoption of the Council Directive 2000/78/EC establishing a general framework for equal treament in employment and occupation and of the Council Decision establishing a Community action programme to combat discrimination (2001 to 2006) on 27 November 2000.
A total of five workshops were organised with national key actors in order to exchange different approaches and methodologies and inform participants about the obligations deriving from the Directive and from Protocol 12.
Each workshop was attended by representatives from 5 countries and included persons from government departments, NGOs, the judiciary, and lawyers. On 15-18 November 2001 the first workshop was hosted by the Open Society Foundation Romania in Sinaia, Romania for participants from Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovakia
The second took place in Prague on on 25-28 April 2002. The workshop was hosted by the Czech Commission for Human Rights and welcomed participants from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The third workshop took place on 28-30 November 2002 in Brussels with participants from Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Portugal.
The fourth workshop was held in March 2003 in Evia, Greece, which currently holds the Presidency of the European Union. The countries involved this time were Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania and Slovenia.
The final workshop in the series took place in Istanbul, Turkey, on 6-8 May 2004. The countries represented were Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Norway, Sweden and Turkey.