Diversity management in the EU Member States (Exploratory opinion at the request of the German presidency)

EESC opinion: Diversity management in the EU Member States (Exploratory opinion at the request of the German presidency)

Key points

The EESC calls for using a holistic approach in diversity management policies in order to focus on all aspects of the work and daily lives of the groups in question.

Migrants and ethnic minorities are not a homogeneous group, and recognising intersectionality is crucial to develop successful diversity policies.

COVID-19 is exacerbating structural racism in Europe. The EU and its Member States should increase their legal and political efforts to tackle racism and xenophobia.

Migrants and ethnic minorities are at the forefront of tackling the pandemic. Recognition of their contribution should include the provision of quality working conditions, fair wages and social protection.

Diversity policies should not only address the underutilisation of migrants' skills but also provide them with free education, including language courses.

Employers should be helped to make use of existing toolkits and methodologies, such as those developed by the European Network Against Racism.

Diversity policies should be mainstreamed across the EU. Member States should develop National Action Plans Against Racism, as proposed by the UN World Conference Against Racism which took place in South Africa in 2018.

The EU Commission should urgently develop a new plan on the inclusion of third-country nationals, since the previous one expired in 2018.

There is a particular need to improve the collection of data on the situation of these groups in the labour market and on the development of diversity policies.

To promote active citizenship, Member States should encourage migrants to actively participate in decision-making processes at local level.

Both the EU institutions and bodies, such as the EESC, should lead by example in diversity management by increasing the number of members and staff from ethnic minority backgrounds.