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Programme to combat discrimination

Official title

Community action programme to combat discrimination (2001 to 2006)


Legal references

Council Decision No 2000/750/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a Community action programme to combat discrimination. (OJ L 303 of 2.12.2000).

Guidelines 2001, Budget line B5-803, call for proposals VP/2001/12 for preparatory work to establish transnational actions for the exchange of information and good practice, published on European Commission's web site

Guidelines 2001, Budget line B5-803, call for proposals VP/2001/13 for the support to European level non-governmental organisations and devoted to the fight against discrimination, published on European Commission's web site



The programme will promote measures combating direct or indirect discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. With a view to achieving its general objective, actions may be implemented to:

  • improve the understanding of issues related to discrimination;
  • develop the capacity to prevent and address discrimination effectively;
  • promote and disseminate the values and practices underlying the fight against discrimination, for example, through awareness-raising campaigns.


Target public/beneficiaries

Public and private bodies and institutions involved in the fight against discrimination may submit a proposal for Commission match funding, in particular:

  • Member States
  • Local and regional authorities and organisations
  • Bodies for the promotion of equal treatment
  • Social partners
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Universities and research institutions
  • National statistical offices
  • The media

The programme will be open to participation of the EFTA/EEA countries, the applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey in accordance with the conditions established in their partnership agreements with the European Union.



The programme runs from 1 January 2001 - 31 December 2006.


Nature of activities

The programme to combat discrimination will respect the principle of gender mainstreaming in all its activities. It may operate under the following themes:

  • Non-discrimination within and by public administration
  • Non-discrimination within and by the media;
  • Equal participation in political, economic and social decision-making;
  • Equal access to, and supply of, goods and services available to the public including housing, transport, culture, leisure and sport;
  • Effective monitoring of discrimination, including multiple discrimination;
  • Dissemination of information about equal rights and non-discrimination;
  • Mainstreaming of anti-discriminatory policies and practices.

Measures are supported under three strands of action:

Strand 1 - Analysis and evaluation of discrimination and of methods combating it

  1. Development and dissemination of comparable statistical services on discrimination
  2. Development and dissemination of methodologies and indicators for evaluating the effectiveness of anti-discrimination policy and practice;
  3. Annual reports analysing anti-discriminatory legislation and practice;
  4. Thematic studies on discrimination.

The programme will support 100% of the costs of studies, research and analysis carried out under contract with the Commission further to the publication of calls for tenders in the OJ of the European Union, series S.

Strand 2 - Capacity building of actors involved in combating discrimination

  1. Transnational exchanges involving partners from at least three Member States. Activities may involve exchanging information and good practice, comparison of effectiveness of methods and tools related to chosen themes, exchange of personnel, joint development of products, strategy and methodology, adaptation to different contexts of the methods, tools and processes identified as good practices, common dissemination of results or events. Funding will be limited to 85% of the total costs. Organisations are required to guarantee the remaining co-financing in cash. Contributions in kind are not accepted.
    The transnational actions are split into different phases. Phase I concerns the preparatory work,including the development of partnerships, the definition of objectives and the formulation of agreed work program. The transnational actions will follow in Phase II. Only partnerships funded under Phase I will be entitled to submit a formal application for funding under Phase II.

  2. Core funding for European NGOs experienced in fighting discrimination. The funding will be capped at 90% of the expenditure eligible for support. Organisations are required to guarantee the remaining co-financing in cash. Contributions in kind are not accepted.

Strand 3 - Awareness-raising

  1. Organisation of conferences, seminars and events at European level;
  2. Organisation of seminars by Member States in support of Community law in the field of non-discrimination;
  3. Organisation of European media campaigns and events to support the transnational exchange of information, including the award of prizes to successful actions under strand 2;
  4. Publication of material on results, including an Internet site and a partner search database.

The programme will support 100% of the costs of events and campaigns carried out under contract with the Commission further to the publication of calls for tenders in the OJ of the European Union, series S. Where a Community subsidy is requested to support the inclusion of a European element in an event organised by the Presidency or by a Member State, the Community subsidy will be limited to 80% of the total eligible cost of that element. Co-financing in cash will have to be guaranteed by the applicant.


Nature and amount of aid

  • Concerning the preparatory work to establish transnational actions (Strand 2, point 1, Phase I), the maximum budget made available for 2001 is 3,850,000 euros. The Commission intends to fund about 77 actions to develop partnership programs, with a maximum of 50,000 euros for each proposal. Phase I actions are due to start on the 1st of October 2001 and will last no longer than 6 months.

  • Concerning provide support for the running costs of selected European networks of NGOs (Strand 2, point 2), the budget made available under the 2001 Call is approximately 1,000,000 euros. The Commission intends to fund about 10 european level organizations, with a maximum of 100,000 euros for a single organization. This contribution would be towards costs inherent in carrying out the activities that would normally be provided for in their annual coordination program (covering a maximum period of twelve months starting on 1st September 2001 at the earliest and by 31 December 2001 at the latest).


European Union financial support

The programme has been allocated EUR 98.4 million for the period 2001-2006.
The annual budget for year 2001 is EUR 14.15 million, which is broken down among the three strands as follows: 1) EUR 3.5 million, 2) EUR 7.85 million and 3) EUR 2.8 million.



The Commission will regularly exchange views with NGOs and social partners at European level on the design, implementation and follow-up of the programme.

The general guidelines and the 2001 annual work plan drafted by the Commission were approved by the Programme Committee in its first meeting in December 2000. These are published on the Commission's "Fundamental rights and anti-discrimination" homepage (see address below).

The actions are implemented through calls for tenders (strands 1 & 3) and calls for proposals (strand 2). The deadline for applicants to the Call for Proposals under the Strand 2, point 1, Phase I, is the 25th of May 2001. The first calls for tenders have not yet been published at the time of updating. The deadline for applicants to the Call for Proposals under the Strand 2,point 2, is the 27th April 2001.
The Commission intends to organise a European launching conference in the second half of 2001, presumably in October in Brussels.


Communication means


Information office

Directorate General Employment and Social Affairs
Unit D.4.- Antidiscrimination, Fundamental Social Rights and Civil Society
J 37 2/20
Rue de la Loi 200
B-1049 Brussels
Fax: + 32 2 295 18 99

NB. This Community factsheet replaces that of the HELIOS II programme factsheet which ended in 1996.


date of publication: 05/01


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