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Brussels, 28 October 2010

Equality: European Commission closes infringement case against the United Kingdom on gender rules

The European Commission today has closed legal proceedings against the United Kingdom for non-transposition of EU rules prohibiting gender discrimination in access to and supply of goods and services (Directive 2004/113/EC). The case was successfully concluded after the United Kingdom transposed the Directive as regards Gibraltar.

Directive 2003/113/EC lays down a framework for combating discrimination based on sex in access to and supply of goods and services. It applies to goods and services offered to the public, outside the area of private and family life. It does not apply to the content of media and advertising or to education, matters of employment and occupation. Examples of areas where the Directive does apply are transport, housing, banking and insurance. The deadline to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive expired on 21 December 2007.

The Commission had referred the United Kingdom to the Court of Justice following its failure to implement the Directive as regards Gibraltar. On 4 February 2010, the Court issued a judgment (Case C-186/09) declaring that the United Kingdom had failed to meet its obligations under the Directive by not adopting all the necessary legislation.

Following the judgement, the United Kingdom informed the Commission that it had adopted legislation implementing the Directive in Gibraltar. Since the implementation of the Directive is now complete, the Commission has closed this case.

Further information

EU gender equality legislation

Homepage of Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship:

For more information about EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/10/530

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