Summit draws Europe Diversity Elite

The results of a European Union survey on anti discrimination were officially showcased in Berlin at the first ever European Union Equality Summit, The summit - the first major event of the European Year was attended by the most influential Social Inclusion figures across the EU.

Only one third of citizens in the EU claim to know their rights should they become victims of discrimination or harassment according to the Eurobarometer survey. The survey also revealed that a large majority of Europeans feel that discrimination is widespread (64%) and over half (51%) think that not enough is being done to fight discrimination in their country.

Speaking at the summit Vladimír Špidla EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities announced:-

"Equality of opportunities is a fundamental right and getting everyone to contribute is essential if Europe is to compete on the world stage".  He added "I am confident that today's summit and activities throughout the European Year will spark a lively debate on diversity, giving a new impetus to tackling discrimination effectively.

The summit will, for the first time, bring together EU Ministers, equality bodies, trade unions employers and civil society to identify measures to make equal opportunities a reality in the EU and to share good practice on the issue of diversity.”

Trever Philips added in his speech.

“The aims of the European Year will be to inform citizens of their right to non-discrimination and equal treatment and to celebrate the benefits of diversity. The campaign will be highly decentralised with hundreds of activities taking place locally, regionally and nationally. This approach will allow initiatives to continue beyond the EYEO, creating a lasting impact on the ground.”

“This is the year where we should dare to set ourselves a great new ambition for the future: a European generation without prejudice. So, at the end of this year, we should have created a network of young people across Europe dedicated to equality. We have the chance as one of our young people said this morning, to close the gap between official aspiration and reality. That should be the aim for this year and every year beyond it so, let’s go now to our panel to ask how we get from here to there.”

Posted by, Asif Yusuf



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