The European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-discrimination Field, an initiative of the European Commission, was established in 2004 within the framework of the Community Action Programme to Combat Discrimination (2001-2006). The aim was to provide the Commission with independent advice on all the grounds of discrimination covered by Directive 2000/43/EC and Directive 2000/78/EC.
The network covers all EU Member States, the candidate countries of Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland (since 2012) and Turkey as well as (since 2012) Liechtenstein and Norway.
The network was a follow-up to three separate networks, one of which dealt with racial or ethnic origin and religion or belief, one with disability and one with sexual orientation. These networks covered the 15 Member States which existed at the time. The new network was established in the form of a service contract, which has been tendered three times: for the period of the first three years, a succeeding period of four years (to the end of 2011) and again in 2012 (until the end of 2014), the contract has been awarded to a consortium of Human European Consultancy and Migration Policy Group (MPG) to manage the network.
The network is comprised of National Experts and an Executive Committee (both ground-specific and other specialised experts).