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European Equality Law Network

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

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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.  

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Law reviews

This first issue of the 2021 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 July to 31 December 2020.

It furthermore contains four in-depth analytical articles. The first article, by equality and non-discrimination consultant Niall Crowley, explores the independent assistance competences of equality bodies, with a particular focus on the Belgian, Croatian and Estonian equality bodies. The second article, by Ulrike Spangenberg from the German Institute for Gender-Equality-Based Practices and Strategies, examines tax policies in the EU from a gender equality perspective. The third article, by Elaine Dewhurst of the University of Manchester and coordinator for the ground of age for the EELN, analyses the existing protections against discrimination for the self-employed within EU law and the national law of Germany, Ireland and Sweden. The final article is authored by Jean Jacqmain, former gender equality expert for Belgium for the EELN, and Nathalie Wuiame, current gender equality expert for Belgium for the EELN. The article evaluates, from a gender equality perspective, two recently adopted directives concerning transparency, EU Directive 2019/11521 and EU Directive 2019/1937.

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

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Law reviews

This first issue of the 2021 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 July to 31 December 2020.

Most recent publication:

European equality law review No. 1 | 2021

Cover image of European equality law review

August 2021

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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; Algorithmic discrimination in Europe: challenges and opportunities for gender equality and non-discrimination law, authors Janneke Gerards and Raphaële Xenidis; Age discrimination law outside the employment field, author Elaine Dewhurst; Sexual orientation discrimination law outside the labour market, author Peter Dunne.

Most recent publication:

Algorithmic discrimination in Europe Challenges and opportunities for gender equality and non-discrimination law

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Janneke Gerards and Raphaële Xenidis

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Comparative analyses

Most recent publications:

A comparative analysis of non-discrimination law in Europe 2020

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Published: Mei 2021

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A comparative analysis of gender equality law in Europe 2020

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Published: February 2021

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More comparative analyses


European Commission, DG Justice and Consumers
Tackling discrimination:
Gender equality:

European Court of Justice

European Court of Human Rights

European Committee of Social Rights

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: 

More information is available here:

FRA - European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights


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

Αward of bonus points to candidate seasonal firefighters who have served in the army or in other corps to which women have no or only limited access

Publication date: 30 April 2020. Topics

The Education Bill explicitly introduces equal treatment and non-discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, disability, age, illness, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender identity

The wearing of a beard interpreted as a religious sign in the public service

Testing of discrimination in access to employment of persons of North African origin and living in specific geographical areas

Limits to the obligation to implement reasonable accommodations in employment

Publication date: 30 April 2020. Topics

Indirect discrimination upon returning from parental leave

Publication date: 15 April 2020. Topics

 Annual report of the national equality body for 2019

Implementation of policies and measures concerning persons living in marginalised Roma communities in the context of the current spread of COVID-19

Successive increase and decrease of minimum height requirement for female candidates to Port Police makes doubtful whether the set height of 1.65 m is a genuine occupational requirement

Publication date: 3 April 2020. Topics

Higher minimum height for male candidates to the Fire Brigade does not entail gender discrimination

Publication date: 3 April 2020. Topics

Follow-up to the CJEU Kalliri C-409/16 - Common minimum height requirement to the detriment of women for access to the Police Academy entails indirect gender discrimination

Publication date: 3 April 2020. Topics

Urgent measures for family related leave due to COVID-19

The local municipality of Herning established a special section in a primary school for children with an ethnic minority background

Enactment of unfavorable conditions for access of stateless Roma to procedures of naturalisation and attempted enactment regarding persons with disabilities

Liechtenstein Government hosted the second national conference on the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

CRPD adopted recommendations to improve the rights of persons with disabilities, including equality and non-discrimination

The network of national and local equality advisers 

Publication date: 5 March 2020. Topics

Nullification of Article 52(d) of the Workers’ Statute that had been qualified by the CJEU as contrary to Directive 2000/78/EC

Publication date: 5 March 2020. Topics

Newly elected Mayor unblocks access to LBGTQI-themed websites for employees

NCCD sanctions the mayor of Baia Mare for the failure to demolish the segregation wall previously found as amounting to discrimination

Non-renewal of the fixed term contract of a female employee due to childbirth

Publication date: 25 February 2020. Topics

Exclusion of male lawyers, who are insured with the social security scheme for the lawyers of Athens, from the allowance covering the nursery fees of children aged one to five years provided only for female lawyers

Publication date: 25 February 2020. Topics

Non equal treatment on the ground of racial or ethnic origin in regard with the reception of social allowances

Prime minister and other prominent politicians conduct concerted campaign questioning the justification of awarding damages to Roma pupils for decade-long segregation

Denial of tort compensation for unjustified loss of a social service

The president of the new Spanish government (January 2020) announces in the Parliament legal projects in the field of equal treatment and non-discrimination

New action plan to implement the National Strategy for People with Disabilities

Publication date: 21 January 2020. Topics

The Spanish Constitutional Court 91/2019, applies in a judgement of 3 July 2019, the ruling issued by the CJEU in the Villar Laiz case but limits its application only to future matters

Publication date: 21 January 2020. Topics

The Supreme Court of Spain has ruled in favour of an affirmative action by a university to grant senior professor positions to departments that have a lower percentage of women in these positions

Publication date: 21 January 2020. Topics

Refusal to admit mother wearing the Islamic veil for activities in class

Systemic racial discrimination in employment against undocumented foreign workers on a construction site

The bill contains the necessary legislative adjustments due to the Directive (EU) 2016/2102 on barrier-free access to the websites and mobile applications of public authorities

New government action plan for persons with disabilities is now made public

Publication date: 15 January 2020. Topics

Disability discrimination of pupils with dyslexia by schools (local governments)

Publication date: 6 January 2020. Topics



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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