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European Equality Law Network

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

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Thematic reports

 

This thematic report analyses and compares age discrimination laws outside the labour market in the areas of social protection, healthcare, education, housing and access to and supply of goods and services in EU Member States and under the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). It establishes how such laws (as exist in legislation and case law, or soft law) address age discrimination in these defined areas, identifies gaps in the existing legal protections across the EU Member States and provides recommendations on the most effective legal mechanisms for tackling age discrimination within the EU. The gender aspect is not dealt with in this report, but there is some reference to gender, for example reference to ECtHR case law or when literature refers to it. Regarding the gender aspect, the report refers the reader to the Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men ‘s Opinion on ‘Challenges for gender equality in a rapidly ageing society’.

Publication date: 24 November 2020. Topics

This report considers protections against sexual orientation discrimination in areas beyond the labour market, and explores whether (and to what extent) any such protections exist in the 27 EU Member States and the United Kingdom (UK). The report focuses on the spheres of social protection, education and access to and supply of goods and services. Taking these topics as a point of departure, the report asks whether domestic law prohibits – either through statute, administrative practice or judicial precedent – unequal treatment on the basis of sexual orientation. There is a particular emphasis on the case law of Member States’ and UK’s judiciaries, and consideration of whether judicial intervention (even in the absence of explicit statutory protections) has ensured equality protections on the basis of sexual orientation. The report identifies potential exceptions to equality obligations (e.g. religious exemptions), investigate the role of national equality bodies and explain how (if at all) discriminatory acts are remedied. Against a background of ongoing political debate, the report clarifies the extent to which EU countries and the UK acknowledge sexual orientation inequality in spheres outside employment and occupation. As such, the report highlights key legislative gaps, identifies examples of good practice and offer workable recommendations for reform.

Publication date: 23 November 2020. Topics

This report examines strategic litigation in the field of sex discrimination law. It consists of four parts:
The first part presents a conceptualization of strategic litigation. The second part will provide an overview of existing strategic litigation practices regarding sex discrimination at the national level. The third part will contain an examination of strategic litigation at the EU level. The fourth part will analyse different factors contributing to successful strategic litigation efforts.

Publication date: 6 May 2020. Topics

This report analyses national and international case law on racial discrimination in education (including segregation) with reference to the Racial Equality Directive and assess its practical impact in view of diverse forms of enforcement.
The first part of the report describes the multiple sources of EU equality law on racial discrimination in education. The second part summarises EU Member States’ national legal frameworks, canvassing the prohibition of discrimination (including harassment) in education, the scope of protection and the explicit/implicit prohibition of segregation. The third part analyses the case law of national courts, equality bodies and field specific enforcement agencies. The fourth part looks, against the backdrop of the transnational nature of European equality law, at legal enforcement as part of a holistic social change strategy.

Lilla Farkas and Dezideriu Gergely (2020)

 

Publication date: 8 April 2020. Topics

Since the adoption of the Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC) and the Employment Equality Directive (2000/78/EC) the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has handed down an ever-increasing number of judgments related to these Directives, clarifying many important aspects of their wording. An initial overview of the evolution of this case law, addressing key themes within its development, was written in 2012 by Colm O’Cinneide. This report provides an updated account of case law developments since that date, and also to trace the ongoing impact of the CJEU’s case law on national law. It takes stock of how the case law of the Court has developed since 2012. It also examines the impact of this case law on national law and critically analyses the evolution of the Court’s jurisprudence. The methodology used is qualitative, involving close analysis of the judgments of the Court, opinions of Advocate-Generals, academic commentary and decisions of national courts in Member States.
Kimberly Liu and Colm O’Cinneide (November 2019)

Publication date: 4 December 2019. Topics

This report considers the use of ‘positive action’ in employment as a key mechanism to advance women’s equality, and to ensure gender-balanced company boards. ‘Positive action’ involves the use of measures that are taken by government or other actors to enable or encourage members of ‘protected groups’ (such as women) to overcome or at least reduce current or past disadvantages (including discrimination), or to meet the needs of the protected group that differ from other groups, or to enable or encourage persons in the protected groups to participate in a particular activity where they might otherwise be under-represented. The report identifies the current legal and regulatory frameworks and scope of positive action in European Union law and policy, and in the 28 European Union (EU) Member States (including the United Kingdom), and the 3 members of the European Economic Area (EEA, comprising Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway). The report aims to lay bare where tensions and gaps may arise in the applicable legal framework between different levels of legal authority, but in particular between the EU law and national approaches to positive action. Addressing this second issue involves a reflection on whether there are possible inconsistencies or shortcomings in the current EU legal treatment of positive action (including the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union. In light of this analysis, the report makes recommendations for possible European Union action, including suggestions for actions that may be included in any forthcoming EU gender strategy.

Christopher McCrudden (October 2019)

Publication date: 4 December 2019. Topics

Susanne Burri (2019)

Publication date: 6 November 2019. Topics

Susanne Burri (November 2018)

Publication date: 18 December 2018. Topics

Naill Crowley (August 2018)

Publication date: 10 December 2018. Topics

Marjolein van den Brink and Peter Dunne (November 2018)

Publication date: 20 November 2018. Topics

Eugenia Caracciolo di Torella and Bridgette McLellan (March 2018)

Publication date: 7 March 2018. Topics

Linda Senden and Sonja Kruisinga (January 2018)

Publication date: 30 January 2018. Topics

Erica Howard (November 2017)

Publication date: 11 December 2017. Topics

Isabelle Chopin, Catharina Germaine and Judit Tanczos (November 2017)

Publication date: 8 November 2017. Topics

Albertine Veldman (April 2017)

Publication date: 28 April 2017. Topics

Olivier De Schutter (July 2016)

Publication date: 12 October 2016. Topics

Kevät Nousiainen and Christine Chinkin (April 2016)

Publication date: 20 April 2016. Topics

Lisa Waddington and Andrea Broderick with the assistance of Anne Poulos (April 2016)

Publication date: 19 April 2016. Topics

Delia Ferri and Anna Lawson (March 2016)

Publication date: 21 March 2016. Topics

Comparative analyses

The comparative analyses provide a summary of the state of affairs of non-discrimination and gender equality law in the 27 EU Member States, Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Turkey and United Kingdom. The analyses give an overview of the key issues, include the latest and most important legal developments at the national level such as case law and legislative amendments, and illustrate and assess the evolution of non-discrimination and gender equality law.  

A comparative analysis of the implementation of EU gender equality law in the EU Member States, Albania, North Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey

Publication date: 4 May 2020. Topics

The 28 EU Member States, Albania North Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey compared

Publication date: 6 April 2020. Topics

Aperçu des règles de l’UE et de leur transposition en droit national en 2018.

Publication date: 11 March 2019. Topics

Wie sind die Unionsvorschriften 2018 im nationalen Recht umgesetzt?

Publication date: 11 March 2019. Topics

A comparative analysis of the implementation of EU gender equality law in the EU Member States, the Republic of North Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey

Publication date: 27 February 2019. Topics

How are EU rules transposed into national law in 2018? 

Publication date: 27 February 2019. Topics

The 28 EU Member States, the Republic of North Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey compared

Publication date: 16 January 2019. Topics

A comparative analysis of the implementation of EU gender equality law in the EU Member States, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey

Publication date: 23 February 2018. Topics

How are EU rules transposed into national law in 2017? 

Publication date: 23 February 2018. Topics

Aperçu des règles de l’UE et de leur transposition en droit national en 2017.

Publication date: 23 February 2018. Topics

Wie sind die Unionsvorschriften 2017 im nationalen Recht umgesetzt? 

Publication date: 23 February 2018. Topics

A comparative analysis of the implementation of EU non-discrimination law in the 28 EU Member States, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey compared

Publication date: 6 December 2017. Topics

A comparative analysis of the implementation of EU non-discrimination law in the EU Member States, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey

Publication date: 12 January 2017. Topics

A comparative analysis of the implementation of EU gender equality law in the EU Member States, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey

Publication date: 14 December 2016. Topics

How are EU rules transposed into national law in 2016? 

Publication date: 14 December 2016. Topics

Aperçu des règles de l’UE et de leur transposition en droit national en 2016.

Publication date: 14 December 2016. Topics

Wie sind die Unionsvorschriften 2016 im nationalen Recht umgesetzt? 

Publication date: 14 December 2016. Topics

A comparative analysis of the implementation of EU non-discrimination law in the EU Member States, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey

Publication date: 24 May 2016. Topics

A comparative analysis of the implementation of EU gender equality law in the EU Member States, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey

Publication date: 24 May 2016. Topics

How are EU rules transposed into national law in 2015?

Publication date: 14 December 2015. Topics

Aperçu des règles de l’UE et de leur transposition en droit national en 2015

Publication date: 14 December 2015. Topics

Wie sind die Unionsvorschriften 2015 im nationalen Recht umgesetzt? 

Publication date: 14 December 2015. Topics

The 28 EU Member States, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey compared

Publication date: 1 January 2015. Topics

Gender Equality Law in 33 European Countries: How are EU rules transposed into national law?

Publication date: 1 February 2014. Topics

The 28 EU Member States, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey compared

Publication date: 1 October 2013. Topics

Law reviews

This second issue of the 2020 European Equality Law Review provides an overview of legal and policy developments in the field of gender equality and non-discrimination across Europe from 1 January to 30 June 2020.

It furthermore contains four in-depth analytical articles. The first article, by David Oppenheimer from the Berkley Centre on Comparative Equality and Anti-discrimination Law, discusses how the Covid-19 Pandemic has disproportionally affected disadvantaged people, particularly women of ethnic minorities and colour in the US. The second article, by Alexandra Timmer, Linda Senden, Birte Böök and Franka van Hoof of the gender equality coordination team of Utrecht University, looks at how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected gender equality in the EU from a EU law perspective. The third article, by Jakub Tomšej, the non-discrimination expert for Czechia, examines the sanction systems under the Racial Equality and Employment Equality Directives, comparing legislation and practice in Czechia, Poland and Slovakia. The last article, by diversity and inclusion consultant Yamam Al-Zubaidi, provides an analytical overview of the potential uses of ethnic data and its practical effects in discrimination cases, with a particular focus on Sweden and the United Kingdom but also drawing from experiences in Finland, France and Germany.

To receive hard copies of the European equality law review and be added to our mailing list to automatically receive future issues, please visit our order page

Issue No. 2 - 2020

Publication date: 23 November 2020. Topics

Issue No. 1 - 2020

Publication date: 28 July 2020. Topics

Issue No. 2 - 2019

Publication date: 12 November 2019. Topics

Issue No. 1 - 2019

Publication date: 18 July 2019. Topics

Issue No. 2 – 2018

Publication date: 4 December 2018. Topics

Issue No. 1 – 2018

Publication date: 10 July 2018. Topics

Issue No. 2 – 2017

Publication date: 4 December 2017. Topics

Issue No. 1 – 2017

Publication date: 18 July 2017. Topics

Issue No. 2 – 2016

Publication date: 22 November 2016. Topics

Issue No. 1 – 2016

Publication date: 17 August 2016. Topics

Issue No. 2 - 2015

Publication date: 9 November 2015. Topics

Issue No. 1 – 2015

Publication date: 13 October 2015. Topics

Issue No. 19 - November 2014

Publication date: 3 November 2014. Topics

Issue No. 18 - July 2014

Publication date: 20 July 2014. Topics

Issue No. 1 - June 2014

Publication date: 1 June 2014. Topics

Issue No. 2 - January 2014

Publication date: 1 January 2014. Topics

Issue No. 17 - November 2013

Publication date: 27 November 2013. Topics

Issue No. 16 - July 2013

Publication date: 19 July 2013. Topics

Issue No. 1 - June 2013

Publication date: 1 June 2013. Topics

Issue No. 15 - November 2012

Publication date: 25 November 2012. Topics

Issue No. 2 - November 2012

Publication date: 1 November 2012. Topics

Issue No. 14 - June 2012

Publication date: 9 June 2012. Topics

Issue No. 1 - June 2012

Publication date: 1 June 2012. Topics

Issue No. 13 - December 2011

Publication date: 17 December 2011. Topics

Issue No. 2 - November 2011

Publication date: 1 November 2011. Topics

Publications

Law reviews

This second issue of the 2020 European Equality Law Review provides an overview of legal and policy developments in the field of gender equality and non-discrimination across Europe from 1 January to 30 June 2020. It furthermore contains four in-depth analytical articles.

Most recent publication:

European equality law review No. 2 | 2020

Cover image of European equality law review

Published:
November 2020

Download this publication

More European equality law reviews

Thematic reports

The thematic reports published by the Network provide an in-depth analysis of a variety of themes in the non-discrimination and/or gender equality field. The thematic reports for 2020 are Indirect sex discrimination in employment, author Jule Mulder (forthcoming); Algorithmic discrimination in Europe: challenges and opportunities for gender equality and non-discrimination law, authors Janneke Gerards and Raphaële Xenidis (forthcoming); Age discrimination law outside the employment field, author Elaine Dewhurst (forthcoming); Sexual orientation discrimination law outside the labour market, author Peter Dunne (published).

Most recent publication:

Sexual orientation discrimination law outside the labour market

Cover image of Sexual orientation discrimination law outside the labour market

Published:
2020

Peter Dunne

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More thematic reports

Comparative analyses

Most recent publications:

A comparative analysis of non-discrimination law in Europe 2019 A comparative analysis of the implementation of EU non-discrimination law in the EU Member States, Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey

Cover image of A comparative analysis of non-discrimination law in Europe 2019

Published: April 2020

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A comparative analysis of gender equality law in Europe 2019 A comparative analysis of the implementation of EU gender equality law in the EU Member States, Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey

Cover image of A comparative analysis of gender equality law in Europe 2019

Published: May 2020

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More comparative analyses

Links

European Commission, DG Justice and Consumers
Tackling discrimination: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/discrimination/index_en.htm
Gender equality: https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/gender-equality_en

European Court of Justice
http://curia.europa.eu

European Court of Human Rights
http://www.echr.coe.int/Pages/home.aspx?p=home

European Committee of Social Rights
http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/socialcharter/ecsr/ecsrdefault_EN.asp

Equinet - European network of equality bodies
If you consider that you have been a victim or a witness of an act of discrimination we would suggest that you contact the national equality body in your country of residence via the following link: https://equineteurope.org/members-map/ 

More information is available here: https://equineteurope.org/what-are-equality-bodies/european-directory-of-equality-bodies/

FRA - European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
http://fra.europa.eu/en


 

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 has a long history. It started in 1983, focussing on the implementation at national level of the series of directives that have been adopted since 1975 on equal treatment between women and men and on the cases on sex discrimination decided by the Court of Justice. With its experienced experts the 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 36 countries that are now included in the network.

The network of legal experts on non-discrimination 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.

After a period of increasingly closer cooperation during the years 2012 - 2014 the gender equality and the non-discrimination networks merged into the current network covering all discrimination grounds in the EU Treaties.

The network ensures a regular overview of state of affairs regarding the transposition of EU equality and non-discrimination law on a country by country basis in the annual country reports and comparative analyses, whereas more recent reporting can be found in the legal developments section of the website and the key developments section of the bi-annual European Equality Law Review. Topical issues are addressed in article in the Equality Law Review and thematic reports that are published on the website and presented and discussed during the annual legal seminar.

The overall operation of the network is governed by Human European Consultancy, the School of Law of Utrecht University and the Migration Policy Group.

General coordination - Human European Consultancy

Position Name Email
General Coordinator Jos Kösters
Project manager for non-discrimination Ivette Groenendijk
Project manager for gender equality Yvonne van Leeuwen-Lohde
Project management assistant Rebecca van Midden

Coordination gender equality - Utrecht University

Position Name Email
Specialist coordinator gender equality Linda Senden
Content coordinator for gender equality law Alexandra Timmer
Research editor gender equality law Franka van Hoof
Research editor gender equality law Birte Böök

Coordination non-discrimination - Migration Policy Group

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

Executive committee of senior experts

Position Name Email
Racial or ethnic origin Lilla Farkas
Age Elaine Dewhurst
Religion or belief Isabelle Rorive
Gender equality law Susanne Burri
Sexual orientation Peter Dunne
Disability 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

 

Legal developments

Concern has been raised about the latest appointments of new commissioners to the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Female professional sports, smart working and parental leave, anti gender violence centers

Publication date: 20 January 2021. Topics

Data collection in the field of gender equality

Publication date: 20 January 2021. Topics

Board Diversity and gender

Publication date: 20 January 2021. Topics

Law defining and criminalising anti-Gypsyism adopted

Applicability of the collective action procedure to facts that occurred prior to the adoption of the class action procedure

Publication date: 20 January 2021. Topics

Amendments to the Law on Protection from Discrimination adopted

Law proposal on gender balanced company boards submitted to Parliament

Publication date: 4 January 2021. Topics

The Bill on the Ninth Amendment of the Fundamental Law, proposed by the Government, addresses the issue of gender identity on two points, by claiming that “the mother is a woman and the father is a man”, and that “Hungary protects children’s right to identity in line with their birth-sex”

Publication date: 4 January 2021. Topics

First Greek judgment on the recognition of a non-binary person

Publication date: 14 December 2020. Topics

Protective measures for pregnant workers in the private sector due to COVID-19 – Special leave for parents of children with COVID-19 in the private sector

Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination adopted following repeal by the Constitutional Court

Whether abolishing the Equal Treatment Authority and transferring its tasks to the Ombudsman decreases the level of protection against discrimination

Can an educational institution request candidates to deliver an opinion of their parish priest to enrol in studies?

Was a policy of restricting housing to one religious community a proportionate form of positive action?

Decision by the Equality Body on the policy of University Eindhoven to appoint more women in academic positions

Publication date: 4 November 2020. Topics

For the first time, provision of a gender quota of a minimum of 1/3 of the total of the members of the administrative councils of athletic unions

Publication date: 4 November 2020. Topics

Report of the National Institute for Rehabilitation describing that complaints concerning disability discrimination increased 30 % compared to the previous year

Publication date: 14 October 2020. Topics

Legality of the decree reserving compensation for spoliation during occupation of France by the Nazi regime to persons of Jewish origin and excluding victims of Traveller and Roma origin

Conciliation measures and promotion of gender equality for working mothers

Dismissal and level of compensation

Publication date: 30 September 2020. Topics

Minister of Education, Science and Culture files suit against the victim of discrimination in an attempt to invalidate ruling

Publication date: 30 September 2020. Topics

Gender Equality Complaints Committee ruled that the Minister of Culture had violated the Gender Equality Act when appointing the Permanent Secretary

Publication date: 30 September 2020. Topics

For the first time, a gender quota of a minimum of 25 % of the total of the members of the Administrative Council of limited liability companies (S.A.) listed in Greece

Publication date: 30 September 2020. Topics

Reconciliation of professional life with family and/or private life through the provision of a financial aid to parents

Moral harassment defined in an amendment to the Anti-discrimination Law and sanctions established for this deed with the NCCD and the courts having an additional mandate

Definitions of direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, discrimination by association, victimisation, order to discriminate and genuine occupational requirement

Discrimination against gay and lesbian foster parents due to the religion and belief of the adoption agency

Home

Welcome!

In order to effectively promote equality and tackle discrimination in the European Union it is important to understand the effects of the EU's equal treatment and non-discrimination legislation.

The European Commission therefore set up the former network of legal experts in gender equality and the network on non-discrimination to support its work by providing independent information and advice on relevant developments in the Member States. The two networks were merged in December 2014 and are now jointly managed by Human European Consultancy, the Migration Policy Group (MPG) and Utrecht University (UU) on behalf of the European Commission.

A primary task of the European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination is to provide reliable, expert information to enable the Commission to fulfil their role as guardian of the treaties. The disclosure and gathering of information on gender equality and non-discrimination legislation, case law and developments at national level, that is often not easily accessible due to the specificities of national legal systems, language barriers and difficulties in finding relevant information, is therefore one of the key goals of the new network.

The dissemination of general information about the acquis (communautaire and national), the latest developments at the EU level and in the countries involved in the network, remains a vital issue both for the further implementation of gender equality and non-discrimination law and its further development. Only upon the basis of the disclosure of gender equality and non-discrimination problems persisting in the Member States and other countries involved in the network, will it be possible to develop sound policies and legal rules for remedying these.

On this website the network publishes information on developments in gender equality and non-discrimination law at the Member State and European level. More information can be found via our legal developments page and the individual country pages.

Go to the website of Utrecht University
Go to the website of the Migration Policy Group

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