MINELRES: ECJ: Germany breached EU non-discrimination law

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sat Apr 30 09:30:22 2005

Original sender: Leonid Raihman <raihman@policy.hu>

Brussels, 28 April 2005

Germany has failed to implement EU race anti-discrimination law

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) today ruled that Germany had
breached EU law by failing to transpose fully a European Directive
prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of race or ethnic origin
(Directive 2000/43/EC). The deadline for EU Member States to transpose
this Directive was 19 July 2003 - except for the 10 new Member States,
who had to ensure that their legislation complied with the Directives by
their accession to the EU on 1 May 2004.

Commenting on the ECJ ruling, European Employment, Social Affairs and
Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Vladimír Špidla, said: "This Directive
was agreed unanimously by the Member States and adopted in 2000. Member
States have now had five years to put this EU law into their national
legislation. I urge Germany to move quickly to meet their obligations in
this area, which is vital for the protection of fundamental rights in
the EU".

The 'Racial Equality Directive' prohibits direct and indirect
discrimination in a wide range of areas including employment, vocational
training, education, social security and healthcare, access to goods and
services and housing. It also requires Member States to designate a body
to promote equal treatment and provide practical and independent support
to victims of racial discrimination.

Draft legislation to implement the Directive is being discussed by the
German Parliament, but has not yet been adopted.




Brussels, 19th July 2004

Commission goes to the European Court of Justice to enforce EU
anti-discrimination law

The European Commission has announced that it is taking legal action
against six Member States that have failed to transpose two
antidiscrimination Directives. The Directives, which prohibit
discrimination on racial or ethnic origin, age, disability, religion and
sexual orientation, were due to be incorporated into national law last
year. The Commission will refer Austria, Germany, Finland, Greece, and
Luxembourg to the European Court of Justice.

Today is the first anniversary of the deadline for transposing the
Racial Equality Directive into national law, while the deadline for the
'Employment Framework Directive passed in December 2003.1 These
Directives, adopted in 2000 by the Council, required legislative changes
in all 25 EU Member States. In many cases, they have provided the
impetus for very positive developments, which have often gone beyond the
Directives' minimum requirements, both deepening and widening the scope
of protection.

The 'Racial Equality Directive' prohibits racial discrimination in a
wide range of areas, including access to jobs, working conditions, pay,
education, access to goods and services and social security. The
'Employment Framework Directive' prohibits discrimination against people
on the grounds of age, disability, religion or
belief and sexual orientation, in employment and vocational training.

In the case of the Racial Equality Directive, Austria, Germany, Finland,
Greece and Luxembourg have failed to pass all the necessary national
measures to introduce, amend or up-date their equality legislation. In
some cases, no legislation has been passed or communicated to the
Commission, in others, gaps in the legislation
have left the transposition incomplete.

Infringement proceedings have also been launched against the same five
Member States and Belgium for having failed to transpose fully the
Employment Framework Directive2. The Commission's decision means that
the Member States in question have two months to reply to a 'Reasoned
Opinion' from the Commission. Following that, they could then face the
next step of referral to the European Court of Justice.

For those Member States which have already adopted legislation
transposing the Directives, the Commission is now in the process of
examining the national laws in question to ensure they conform in full
with the provisions of EU law.

1 Deadline for transposition of Racial Equality Directive 2000/43 was 19
July 2003.

2 Employment Framework Directive 2000/78/EC.