Brussels, 28 October 2010
Equality: European Commission closes cases against Germany on anti-discrimination rules
The European Commission has today closed legal proceedings against Germany for incorrectly implementing two parts of EU anti-discrimination legislation. The EU rules concern discrimination in employment on grounds of religion, belief, disability, age and sexual orientation (Directive 2000/78/EC) and in employment in almost all other areas of everyday life on grounds of race (2000/43/EC). On the initiative of Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, the Commission has now closed the infringement cases against Germany concerning these two Directives.
The Employment Equality Directive (2000/78/EC) establishes a general framework for equal treatment in employment, occupation and vocational training. 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.
The Race Equality Directive (2000/43/EC) provides for protection against discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin in employment and training, education, social protection, membership of organisations and access to goods and services. Furthermore, it obliges Member States to create a body in each EU Member State to promote equal treatment and assist victims of racial discrimination.
The Commission opened infringement proceedings against Germany in 2007. In October 2009, the Commission sent formal requests to Germany to comply fully with the Race Equality Directive (see IP/09/1617) and the Employment Equality Directive (see IP/09/1620). In response to the Commission's requests, which took the form of “reasoned opinions” under EU infringement procedures, Germany presented draft laws to comply with national jurisprudence and notified further national laws applying in this area. The Commission has concluded that, in the light of these changes, Germany has now properly implemented both Directives.
EU anti-discrimination legislation
Homepage of Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship:
For more information about the infringement process, see MEMO/10/530