© Università degli Studi di Padova - Credits: HCE Web agency
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has presented a report-opinion titled “Equality in the EU 20 years on from the initial implementation of the equality directives”. It illustrates the extent and nature of lived experiences of inequality and discrimination across the EU, making reference to the grounds of discrimination and areas of life covered by the racial and employment equality directives, as well as in relation to the grounds and areas covered by the proposed Equal Treatment Directive.
Data and evidence collected by FRA consistently show that people across the EU regularly experience discrimination on the grounds and in the areas of life listed in the Racial Equality Directive and in the Employment Equality Directive. This is the case despite the directives having been in force since 2000. This calls into question the effectiveness of the measures and institutional arrangements the Member States have put in place to enforce non-discrimination legislation, including the rules they have laid down as regards the effectiveness, proportionality and dissuasiveness of sanctions in cases of discrimination (Article 15 of the Racial Equality Directive; Article 17 of the Employment Equality Directive). Further shortcomings relate to the sanctions applied across the Member States, which currently “do not guarantee effective redress nor do they act as an effective deterrent”.
The prevalence of discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin remains consistently high, both over time and across different population groups in different Member States. As for Italy, the report indicates the highest in EU five-year prevalence of religious discrimination against Muslim of North African background and a high prevalence of experiences of age discrimination in employment, particularly for older people. Along with this, the level of awareness of anti-discrimination legislation and equality bodies among some groups of people in Italy remains one of the lowest in the EU. However, in recent years, Italy, together with several other Member States, has started implementing the Guidelines on improving the collection and use of equality data.
The full report is available at the link below.