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The impact of the Racial Equality Directive - Views of trade unions and employers in the European Union - Summary

This summary report presents the findings of the FRA research on the views of the social partner organisations in the EU concerning the application of the Racial Equality Directive in practice, with a sole focus on the area of employment.

Objectives - Why this project and for whom?

According to Article 17 of the Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC), the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights should contribute to the Commission's report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of the Directive. The objective of this FRA report was to identify good practices in the variety of transposition measures adopted by the Member States, to analyse the impact of the Directive on the ground, and to formulate opinions and conclusions as to how the Directive could be made more effective.

Details - What did the project involve?

Legal analysis

The analysis was based on 27 national studies prepared by FRALEX, the FRA's network of legal experts. The experts were asked to analyse the implementation of the Racial Equality Directives in the Member States, as well as to identify gaps concerning protection from ethnic discrimination at national level. In addition information on case law and case statistics was collected and good practices of transposition were identified in the Member States.

Analysis of the views of major social partner organisations

In addition, FRA commissioned the analysis of the views of the major social partner organisations. The study was based on interviews with representatives of trade unions' and employers' organisations in all 27 Member States. The study examined their awareness of the Racial Equality Directive and corresponding national legislations, and points to practical implications for the social partners' activities.

The trade union interviews were conducted both with representatives of the major union confederation(s) within a Member State, and of unions with a significant proportion of ethnic minorities/migrants. Employer interviews covered representatives of the major employers' confederations in each Member State. These included representatives of large private and public sector organisations employing significant proportions of migrant and minority workers, and/or organisations known to have introduced equality or diversity policies in recent years.

Innovation - What's 'new' about the project?

This was the first time that such a multidisciplinary investigation of a directive's impact based on legal analysis, interviews with social partner organisations and statistical analysis of EU-MIDIS, has been undertaken.

Outputs - What did the project deliver?


The research part of this project has now been completed and the outputs are shown below.


Cover of the FRA report: Comparative Report on the views of social partners     on the impact of the Racial Equality Directive in the area of employment (May 2010)
  • The views of social partners on the impact of the Racial Equality Directive in the area of employment (October 2010)
    • Comparative Report [ EN ]
    • Summary Report [ EN ] [ FR ] [ DE ]
  • 27 Country Reports on the views of social partners on the impact of the Racial Equality Directive in the area of employment (May 2010)
  • The Racial Equality Directive: application and challenges (forthcoming)
  • Opinion of FRA for the European Commission concerning review of the Racial Equality Directive (expected in 2011)


Related Information

The Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC) is the most important piece of EU legislation combating racial/ethnic discrimination. It was adopted in 2000 and prohibits discrimination in the areas of employment, education, social protection (including social security and healthcare), and access to and the supply of goods and services including housing. 

Part of the Racial Equality Directive required the creation of specialised Equality Bodies promoting equal treatment in each Member State, an important function of which is to provide victims of discrimination with assistance in making the legal system more accessible to them. The Directive was described in a report of the European Parliament in 2007 as "a major step in raising the level of protection for victims of discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin and in giving them better possibilities of redress" (European Parliament, 2007/2094 (INI)).

This project page was last updated on 16.11.2014.


Publication date: 10 August 2012

FRA Questionnaire - Report on The impact of the Racial Equality Directive (57.95 KB)