Brussels, 4 May 2010
Equality: European Commission closes two cases against Czech Republic on equality legislation
The European Commission has today closed legal proceedings against the Czech Republic on two directives prohibiting discrimination (Directive 2000/43/EC – the Race Equality Directive and Directive 2000/78/EC – the Employment Equality Directive). The cases were successfully concluded after the Czech Republic changed its national law to bring it in line with EU requirements, following the Commission's legal action.
The Commission began infringement proceedings against the Czech Republic on the Race Equality Directive in June 2007 (see also IP/07/928) because:
The main points of the infringement case for the Employment Equality Directive (see also (IP/08/155) were:
The Czech Republic has amended its legislation on all those points, notably by adopting a comprehensive Anti-discrimination Act. As a result, the Commission now considers that Czech Republic has properly transposed the Directives.
Anti-discrimination (in areas outside gender and nationality discrimination) is a relatively new area of EU policy. Following the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999, the EU acquired new powers to combat discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin, religion and belief, disability, age and sexual orientation (former Article 13 TEC, now Article 10 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). This led to the unanimous adoption by Member States of two Directives in 2000:
The deadlines for Member States to transpose these two directives were 19 July and 2 December 2003, respectively. For the 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004, the deadline was 1 May 2004. For Bulgaria and Romania, it was 1 January 2007.
EU anti-discrimination legislation
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