High-level group on non-discrimination, Equality and Non-discrimination
In 2015, the European Commission replaced the government expert group with setting up an high level group on Non-discrimination, Equality and Diversity with a new mandate.
The High Level Group, composed of representatives of all EU countries, ensures cooperation and coordination between EU countries and seeks to improve the development and implementation of policies and programmes that combat discrimination and promote equality. It is also a platform for sharing experiences and good practices on diversity.
In 2018 the High Level Group mandated a Subgroup on Equality Data to prepare a set of non-binding guidelines on improving the collection and use of equality data.
Together with the guidelines the Subgroup also developed two other documents: a Compendium of Practices on Equality Data to provide inspiration to EU Member States when implementing the guidelines on improving the collection and use of equality data; and a diagnostic mapping tool, which can be used by Member States to map existing sources of equality data and identify gaps in data related to specific grounds of discrimination and/or areas of life.
Indeed equality data are crucial as a means to assess how legislation and policies to promote equality and non-discrimination are being implemented. Equality data also allow to monitor and measure progress on the ground.
Equinet - European network of equality bodies
Equinet, the European Network of Equality Bodies, brings together national equality bodies, which are empowered to counteract discrimination across a range of grounds including age, disability, gender, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, and sexual orientation.
National equality bodies are independent organisations established on the basis of EU directives with a mandate to provide an independent assistance to victims of discrimination, conduct independent surveys concerning discrimination and publish independent reports and make recommendations on any issue relating to discrimination in their country.
Equinet, promotes equality in Europe through supporting and enabling the work of national equality bodies. It supports equality bodies to be independent and effective as valuable catalysts for more equal societies.
Network of legal experts
The European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination ensures that the European Commission is kept informed in relation to important legal developments in both the fields of gender equality and non-discrimination at national level and as to the impacts of those developments.
This network comprises national experts from 34 countries (the EU countries, Turkey, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
The network produces a bi-annual Equality law review, thematic reports and country reports.
Standards for equality bodies
The Commission recommends a set of measures for Member States to improve how equality bodies protect citizens and fight discrimination.
These recommendations advise Member States to increase the effectiveness and independence of equality bodies. Member States should ensure they have the necessary resources to cover discrimination on grounds such as sex, race, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, and these types of discrimination should be handled proportionately to the impact of each type of discrimination. They should ensure better awareness-raising about the role of national equality bodies and how citizens can access equality bodies and exercise their rights in case of discrimination.