Commission Goes to European Court of Justice to Enforce EU Anti-Discrimination Laws
Friday, August 13, 2004 9:45 AM

The European Commission has announced that it is taking legal action in the European Court of Justice against six Member States that have failed to transpose two anti-discrimination Directives. Austria, Germany, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg have failed to codify both Directives, and Belgium has failed to codify the Employment Framework Directive. The Directives - the Racial Equality Directive and the Employment Framework Directive - prohibit discrimination on racial or ethnic origin, age, disability, religion and sexual orientation and were due to be incorporated into national law last year. Specifically, the Racial Equality Directive prohibits racial discrimination in a wide range of areas, including access to jobs, working conditions, pay, education, access to goods and services and social security. The Employment Framework Directive prohibits discrimination against people on the grounds of age, disability, religion or belief and sexual orientation, in employment and vocational training.

The European Commission's decision to enforce the EU's directives on racial equality and anti-discrimination has positive implications for another recent EU directive on gender equality, which strives to provide stronger support for employees who perceive that they have been treated unfairly by an employer because of their sex. This directive also defines sexual harassment and establishes it as a form of sex discrimination. Specifically, the commission's decision to enforce the directives on race and discrimination suggest that the commission may also act to enforce the gender equality directive when it is due to be transposed into law in 2005.

For more information please see the European Commission's Annual Report on Equality and Non-Discrimination.


"Commission goes to the European Court of Justice to enforce EU anti-discrimination law," Press release, Employment and Social Affairs Division, European Union, July 2004