Report on the Racial Equality and the Employment Equality Directives
On 19 March 2021, shortly before the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March, the Commission adopted its third report on the application of the Racial Equality Directive (Directive 2000/43/EC) and the Employment Equality Directive (Directive 2000/78/EC).
The report highlights good practices in the implementation of the Directives and draws attention to important developments in the case law of the CJEU. It also shows particular challenges, such as a fear of reporting incidents of discrimination, low and diverging levels of compensation issued at national level, difficulties in proving a case of discrimination and little awareness of rights and support mechanisms.
The report identifies possible avenues for follow-up, including strengthening the role of equality bodies, supporting Member States in monitoring the application of the Directives including on ensuring adequate sanctions, and encouraging equality data collection.
Recommendation on standards for equality bodies
A Commission Staff Working Document is accompanying the report. This document assesses the situation of equality bodies across the EU and the implementation of the Commission Recommendation on standards for equality bodies adopted in 2018.
Although many Member States have enabled their equality bodies to play a meaningful role, it shows that most equality bodies are still facing various challenges to their effectiveness, in particular because of inadequate resources, limited legal standing, concerns about independence, little awareness of the equality bodies’ existence and insufficient data collection. This leads to different, and sometimes insufficient, levels of protection against discrimination across the EU.
The Commission will assess whether to propose new legislation to strengthen the role of national equality bodies by 2022.
Study to support the preparation of an EU initiative to address possible gaps in the legal protection against discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin (2022)
This study, carried out based on desk research and stakeholder consultations, suggests that possible discrimination in the exercise of public authority by law enforcement, constitutes the main area outside the material scope of the Racial Equality Directive (RED), where racial or ethnic discrimination seems to occur. Non-legislative measures seem to be the most suitable to address the existing challenges.
The study also reveals potential gaps in the protection mechanisms/measures provided by the RED. To address these potential gaps, the study recommends as the most suitable ways forward, a larger role for equality bodies (e.g., in connection with equality data collection and use); and several non-legislative measures (e.g., reinforced channels for exchanging good practices; more guidance on what could be considered as an effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanction).
According to the study, systematic/comprehensive responses might be necessary to address some of the issues, which are often structural in nature.