Closing session Linda Senden on behalf of the Gender Equality Network and Irena Moozova on behalf of the European Commission
On behalf of the organisers of the legal seminar, Linda Senden, Specialist Coordinator for Gender Equality Law and Professor of EU Law at Utrecht University, shared the observations that were key to the discussion at the seminar. In the keynote speech and in the workshops, the importance of effective enforcement and monitoring of EU and national equality was given great emphasis. She referred to the keynote speech of Adam Bodnar which stressed the importance of individual litigation, the independent protection mechanisms and EU legislation. In the workshops the enforcement of equality and non-discrimination law was also a central element of the presentations and the discussion, for example, the promising practices in the effective enforcement of the Racial Equality and Employment Equality Directives, and the potential of the Goods and Services Directive 2004/113/EC to ensure that the principle of gender equality is not merely applied in the working environment.
Finally, Irena Moozova, Director for Equality and Union Citizenship, DG JUST, European Commission, stressed the importance of the role of human rights defenders in the protection of equality rights and the shared responsibility of the EU and the Member States for the Union of Equality. She also connected the topics that were discussed at the seminar with (legislative) initiatives that the Commission is taking or intends to take, e.g. to strengthen the position of equality bodies; to eradicate gender-based violence against women; to ensure equal pay for men and women; and to improve the support from equality bodies for victims of discrimination.