Alphabetical index

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Anti-discrimination and relations with civil society

Employment and social policy

Since its creation, the European Union (EU) has regarded the fight against discrimination as one of its most pressing missions. Although discrimination, whether direct or indirect, is considered a crime under European law, individuals throughout Europe are prevented on a daily basis from living their social or professional life to the full because of random criteria. For several years the emphasis was placed on preventing discrimination on grounds of nationality or gender. Since 1999, the EU's powers have expanded to include action against discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. In this area more than any other, civil society organisations act as essential intermediaries between citizens and the European institutions.

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