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Brussels, 30 September 2010

Equality: European Commission closes case against Italy on gender equality at work

The European Commission has today closed legal proceedings against Italy for incorrectly implementing EU rules on equal treatment between men and women in employment (Directive 2006/54/EC). The case was concluded after Italy brought its national law into line with the Directive's requirements following the Commission's infringement action.

The Commission launched infringement proceedings against Italy in March 2007 for incorrectly transposing Directive 2006/54/EC on gender equality in employment and occupation, in particular concerning the requirement for an independent national equality body.

Following the Commission's intervention, Italy adopted a new law amending its existing legislation in June 2008. This brought national law into line with the Directive on the issues raised by the Commission.

The Commission dropped other issues after the Italian authorities clarified the applicable rules within the national legal system as a whole.

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


Directive 2002/73/EC aimed at implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the field of employment and occupation. It introduced, in particular, detailed definitions of direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment. It also required the creation of a body or bodies for the promotion, analysis, monitoring and support of equal treatment of all persons without discrimination on the grounds of sex and requires Member States to encourage dialogue with non-governmental organisations. This Directive has been replaced by Directive 2006/54/EC. The new directive consolidates in a single text all the rules and case law of the European Court of Justice relating to equal opportunities and equal treatment for men and women in employment and occupation.

Further information

EU gender equality legislation

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