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Equal opportunities

Equality and non-discrimination is a cornerstone of EU law and policy-making.

The EU is committed to developing measures to ensure equal opportunities and equality of treatment for people regardless of gender. This ethos applies in all areas of economic, social, cultural and family life. The EU is also pursuing gender mainstreaming in order to reinforce equality rights and combat gender discrimination.

The principle of non-discrimination was strengthened in the Treaty of Amsterdam. The EU now has the power to combat discrimination not just on the grounds of gender, but also in relation to race and ethnic origin, religious belief, disability, age and sexual orientation.

The EU's commitment to equal opportunities and non-discrimination can be found in all its policies, including those which aim to foster regional development.