Austria Fails to Adequately Implement EU Anti-Discrimination Law

21 July 2005

On May 4, 2005 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Austria 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 '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. Legislation to implement the Directive has been adopted at federal level, but certain aspects fall under the competence of the Länder (federal states), and they have not yet all adopted the necessary legislation. Finland, Germany and Liechtenstein have also been found to have infringed EU rules on anti-discrimination law for failures to implement the Directive. Non of the ten countries joining the European Union on May 1, 2004 have yet been assessed by the ECJ.



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