European Commission publish directive for equal treatment

The European Commission has published a proposal for a Council Directive to implement the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation. The directive has been drafted to extend protection for people across the member states in areas such as social security, healthcare, education and access to and supply of goods and services. 

One of the features included within the Proposal is the definition of reasonable accommodation in respect to persons with disabilities as a form of discrimination.

Despite this and other important steps forward made by the proposal, European equality campaigning group, the Equal Rights Trust has found limitations in the document. In a below are some of the shortcomings that were highlighted in a press announcement;

1. Discrimination on grounds of sex is still legal in a number of areas including education. .

2. Multiple discrimination has still not been dealt with adequately in the Proposal: while mentioning it in the preamble in relation to women, the Proposal does not provide a legal definition of this problem and leaves victims of multiple discrimination without adequate protection.

3. The limitations to the material scope of the directive and in particular Article 3(1)(d) are too broad and ambiguous. The decision to reduce the application of non-discrimination in the area of provision of goods and services to “individuals only in so far as they are performing a professional or commercial activity” is unclear and will inevitably lead to greater confusion among Member States and goods and service providers that have to implement and adhere to the law.  

However the campaigning body concludes that the Proposal set forth by the Commission represents an important step towards improving the lives of people affected by discrimination in the European Union.

To see the text of the Proposal for a new equality Directive, click here..


Posted by, Asif Yusuf


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