Just before the Commission should table new anti-discrimination legislation, the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) expresses its support for enhanced legislation to combat discrimination in all areas of life and on all grounds recognized by the Treaty establishing the European Community (article 13).
Obstacles in access to education, social protection, health or housing can be major factors of social exclusion.
“There is a clear link between discrimination and poverty and enhanced anti-discrimination legislation is one of the essential commitments to reach the agreed objective to make a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty”, declared Fintan Farrell, the Director of EAPN. “Decision makers must put an end to the current hierarchy of rights, where some groups are not protected outside the employment field.”
Mr. Farrell added: “New legal steps are needed to ensure that all grounds of discrimination recognised in the EU treaties are covered”.
The European Parliament, the Social Platform and the overwhelming majority of respondents to the Commission’s consultation have expressed support to expanded legislation. EAPN therefore calls on the Commission not to miss this unique opportunity.
After President Barroso himself declared in 2004 that “civil rights and an antidiscrimination approach will be top priorities for this Commission”, and the Commission’s 2008 work programme announced a directive covering all grounds, any step back would be a major failure in the Commission’s track record.
For further information, please contact Audrey Gueudet (Information Officer) or Fintan Farrell (Director), tel.