It became clear last year that the European Commission is ready to take action and open infringement proceedings against member states if they do not comply with their obligations under the Racial Equality Directive

FRA: discrimination still part of daily experience of Europeans

02.10.2013 - 11:34

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) released Tuesday its latest opinion, finding that despite the adoption of EU equality legislation more than a decade ago, discrimination remains part of the daily experience of too many Europeans.

The opinion examines the impact of the Racial Equality Directive and the Employment Equality Directive adopted in 2000 which aim at efficiently fighting discrimination.

“People continue to face discrimination in their daily lives despite the considerable progress in terms of policies and laws nationally and EU-wide,” notes FRA’s opinion and adds that  to “adopt legislation is to make a clear commitment to combat discrimination, but legislation does not automatically translate into positive results on the ground”.

The agency says that “for this to occur, dedicated follow-up on the legal obligations undertaken must ensue”.

FRA points at several reasons for the existing divide between the law and the situation on the ground, finding that efforts to bring EU anti-discrimination legislation to the public’s attention have not raised sufficient awareness to render anti-discrimination legislation an efficient and sufficiently invoked instrument.

The opinion also says that improving access to justice and collecting data that supports the formulation of anti-discrimination policies could significantly remedy the current situation.

In November, FRA will organise its annual fundamental rights conference during which combating hate crime in the EU will be at the main topic. It is considered that such types of crime strike at the heart of EU’s commitments to democracy and the fundamental rights of equality and non-discrimination.