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Brussels, 30 September 2010

Equality: European Commission closes cases against Sweden and Latvia on employment

The European Commission has today closed legal proceedings against Sweden and Latvia for incorrectly implementing EU rules on equal treatment in employment on the basis of religion, belief, disability, age and sexual orientation (Directive 2000/78/EC). The cases were successfully concluded after both countries amended their anti-discrimination laws in response to the Commission's legal action.

The Commission began infringement proceedings against Latvia in December 2006 and against Sweden in March 2007 (see IP/10/319). Sweden and Latvia amended their national anti-discrimination laws to address the Commission’s concerns that were raised in the previous stages of the infringement proceedings.

After analysing the newly adopted legislation and taking into account explanations provided by the Member States, the Commission considers that Sweden and Latvia have satisfactorily transposed the Employment Equality Directive.

For more information about the infringement process, see MEMO/10/457.


Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishes a general framework for equal treatment in employment, occupation and vocational training (Employment Equality Directive). This Directive covers direct and indirect discrimination, as well as harassment, in employment and training on the grounds of religion or belief, age, disability or sexual orientation. It includes specific requirements on reasonable accommodation for disabled people.

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