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European Equality Law Network

European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination

About us

The European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination, established in December 2014, combines two previously existing networks: the European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-discrimination Field and the European Network of Legal Experts in the field of Gender Equality.

The gender equality network had a long history, starting with its establishment back in 1983. Until the adoption of the Treaty of Amsterdam, the only discrimination grounds addressed in Treaty provisions were nationality and sex. Since 1975 a series of directives have been adopted in order to implement the principle of equal treatment between women and men at the national level and some 200 cases on sex discrimination have been decided by the Court of Justice. With the expertise of experienced experts, this network assisted the Commission in its task to monitor the correct implementation of the gender equality acquis communautaire. In 1983, only 6 Member States were participating in this network, in contrast to the 35 countries now represented under the current contract.

The European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-discrimination Field was established in 2004 with the main aim to provide the Commission with independent advice on all the grounds of discrimination covered by Directive 2000/43/EC and Directive 2000/78/EC. The network was a follow-up to three separate networks, one of which dealt with racial or ethnic origin and religion or belief, one with disability and one with sexual orientation.

In the period 2012 - 2014 the gender equality and the non-discrimination networks increasingly worked together on:

  • coordination of and cooperation between legal experts in both gender equality law and non-discrimination law for the delivery of specific ad-hoc requests for certain countries or across multiple countries;
  • consultation between the two networks on the work program, deliverables and methodologies
  • the programming and carrying out of the annual seminar.

The new joint network involves the vast majority of the legal experts whom have been part of the previous separate networks. Information on individual national experts in our network can be found via the individual country pages. The overall management of the network rests with Human European Consultancy, Utrecht University and the Migration Policy Group.

General coordination - Human European Consultancy

General Coordinator Marcel Zwamborn
Project management assistant Andrea Trotter
Project management assistant Ivette Groenendijk
Conference manager Michelle Troost-Termeer

Coordination gender equality - Utrecht University

Specialist coordinator gender equality Susanne Burri
Assistant gender equality law Alexandra Timmer
Assistant gender equality law Alice Welland

Coordination non-discrimination - Migration Policy Group

Specialist coordinator non-discrimination law Isabelle Chopin
Research editor non-discrimination law Catharina Germaine

Executive committee of senior experts

Racial or ethnic origin Lilla Farkas
Age Mark Freedland
Religion or belief Isabelle Rorive
Gender equality law Linda Senden
Sexual orientation Krzysztof Smiszek
Disability Mark Bell
  Lisa Waddington
EU and human rights law Christopher McCrudden
Social security Frans Pennings
EU law and expertise on sex, gender identity and gender expression in relation to trans and intersex people Christa Tobler


Go to the website of Human European Consultancy
Go to the website of Utrecht University
Go to the website of the Migration Policy Group

Order European equality law review

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