FRA Opinion on the situation of equality in the European Union 10 years on from initial implementation of the equality directives

Drawing on evidence gathered in its surveys and reports, FRA submits a set of opinions aimed at improving the protection against discrimination. These could be taken into account in the implementation and the eventual reform of the EU legal framework on the protection against discrimination.

The European Union (EU) adopted two prominent pieces of legislation in 2000 aimed at efficiently fighting discrimination.

The Racial Equality Directive and the Employment Equality Directive together create a well-developed anti-discrimination framework. Their wide-ranging scope, precedence over and direct effect on national systems resulted in a robust legislative package that left no doubt of the EU’s legal commitment to protect those living in its territory from discrimination.

Despite this decisive and influential step and the resulting progress made in many EU Member States’ legal systems, evidence gathered by FRA shows that discrimination remains part of the daily experience of too many Europeans. Looking into the reasons for the divide between the law on the books and the situation on the ground, FRA has identified various factors that prevent more effective implementation of legal provisions and other mechanisms designed to improve protection against discrimination.