EESC opinion: Anti-discrimination measures for areas outside employment

EESC opinion: Anti-discrimination measures for areas outside employment

Key points :

The Committee

  • is concerned that achievement of the aims of the EU will be significantly hindered by the present hierarchical scheme of protection against discrimination outside the field of employment. Without binding obligation to meet an EU common standard there is no real incentive for Member States to enact laws providing consistent rights for all grounds;
  • therefore welcomes the decision by the Commission announced on 2 July 2008 to propose a new directive implementing the principle of equal treatment irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation;
  • finds that new legislation should ensure that the right to equality is not diluted or diminished and does not result in the reduction of protection against discrimination under existing EU or national laws; it should enable adoption of measures permitting positive action and preferential treatment on grounds of age or disability where this is consistent with the principle of equal treatment.