Brussels, 10 July 2014
Commission refers Finland to the Court of Justice for not having a racial equality body for employment matters
The European Commission has decided to refer Finland to the Court of Justice of the EU as its equality body has not been entrusted with specific tasks related to racial equality in the field of employment.
Article 13 of the Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC) requires Member States to set up a national equality body and formally attribute it with tasks including: providing assistance to victims, conducting independent surveys, publishing independent reports and making recommendations concerning discrimination. The Commission strictly monitors the correct transposition of the Directive as regards the equality bodies, since these bodies as watchdogs for equality play the core role in ensuring effective implementation and application of the Directive.
Despite extensive discussion with Finland following a Letter of Formal Notice and a Reasoned Opinion, there has been no concrete progress.
In April 2014, the Finnish Government submitted a proposal to the national parliament for a new Non-Discrimination Act, however this proposal is insufficient to solve the problem. Referral to Court may contribute to introducing appropriate corrections in the Act which is currently under discussion.