EU Sends Formal Notice to 11 Member States Regarding Non-Compliance with the Race Equality Directive
13 November 2006
On 4 April 2006, the European Commission notified 11 member states of their non-compliance with the Council Directive 2000/43/EC on "implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin" (Race Equality Directive), which has been in effect since 2000. The countries notified included Denmark, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The European Commission noted infringements by the mentioned states in six different areas: incomplete transposition of the directive; poor definition of the burden of proof that needs to be met; poor definitions of direct and indirect discrimination, as well as of harassment; too many exemptions to the a ban on discrimination; limits on victim compensation; and limits on the right of interested parties to take action in the defence of victims of discrimination.
The European Commission has also initiated further proceedings against Germany, Austria and Luxembourg, notified earlier of non-compliance with the Directive, a situation that may eventually lead to the imposition of penalties.