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Legal Seminar 2013 - Equality Law: What kind of Equality?

On 29 November 2013 the sixth annual legal seminar of the European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-discrimination Field was organised in cooperation with the European Network of Legal Experts in the field of Gender Equality (managed by the Faculty of Law at Utrecht University). The seminar attracted 141 participants, including representatives of the European Commission, of EU Member States governments, of Equality Bodies and of EU-umbrella organisations. The seminar also brought together a number of high level academics from across the European Union. The feedback from the participants, collected through a satisfaction survey (PDF 90 kB) resulted ina good rating.

Workshop - Equal Pay

The following issues were discussed:

  • Participants underlined that after 50 years of applying the principle of equal pay, the gender pay gap is still very important and there are no clear indications that it will decrease. The issue of a gap in pensions was also discussed, as an existing pay gap implies an even more important gap in pensions.
  • The informal market was also discussed, in relation to the potentially important pay gap in this market and its potential impact on pay. The fact that this market is not sufficiently taken into account in the debate on the pay gap was also raised. In addition, participants also raised the decisive impact of public services on the labour market status of women and their contribution to the gender pay gap.

Workshop - Positive Action

The following issues were discussed:

  • Participants discussed the relevance and framing of quota rules for companies, underlining the existence of different systems in the Member States – hard and soft – and raising the issue of the stance/approach taken in the European Commission’s proposal “Women on Boards”.
  • The importance of multiplying a number of different mechanisms to bring about changes in corporate culture was also raised. Such mechanisms include: media; civil society; corporate governance codes; self-regulation and identification of good practice; and the role of the law.

Legal Seminar 2012 - Equality Law for Everyone: Challenges Ahead

On 26 November 2012 the fifth yearly legal seminar of the European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-Discrimination Field was organised in cooperation with the European Network of Legal Experts in the field of Gender Equality (managed by the Faculty of Law at Utrecht University). The seminar attracted 161 participants, representatives of the European Commission, EU Member States governments, Equality Bodies and EU-umbrella organisations. The feedback from the participants, collected through a satisfaction survey (PDF 76 kB) resulted in a good rating.

Legal Seminar 2010 Making Equality Rights Work in Practice

 On 9 November 2010 the third yearly seminar of the Network was organised in cooperation with the European Network of Legal Experts in the field of Gender Equality (managed by the Faculty of Law at Utrecht University).  The seminar attracted 137 participants, representatives of the European Commission, EU Member States governments, Equality Bodies and European NGOs.

Workshop - Update on the Court of Justice of the European Union Case Law

For the related Thematic Report – please see Evolution and Impact of the CJEU case-law.

The following issues were discussed:

  • The question of shifting the burden of proof was discussed, and in particular the issue of establishing a prima facie discrimination case. The recent Accept case (C-81/12) constituted a basis for the discussions regarding the issue of requiring evidence which is impossible to adduce without interfering with the right to privacy.
  • Participants raised the situation of “forum shopping” for applicants claiming discrimination, especially in relation to how litigants choose whether to bring a case to the CJEU or rather to the European Court of Human Rights. This issue was raised in particular in relation to discrimination on grounds of religion, where applicants seem to refrain from bringing their case to the CJEU.

Workshop - Disability Discrimination

The following issues were discussed:

  • There is a gap in the Directive as regards the scope, as most people with disabilities are outside the labour market and face difficulties in accessing it: they need equality in the public space, in access to services, education and training, transport to go to work, knowing how to apply for job openings, etc. The importance of the proposal for a Horizontal Directive was underlined, but although changes of governments are expected in the two main countries opposing this proposal, participants were not confident that these changes will affect its future.

Workshop - Housing

For the related Thematic Report – please see Discrimination in Housing.

The following issues were discussed:

  • The area of housing in general was found to be a complex area, involving both EU law (as regards the grounds of gender and race/ethnic origin) and different sources of international human rights law (Convention on economic, social and cultural rights, ECHR, CERD, CEDAW, etc.). This legal framework was seen as a complicating factor for developments in the field.
  • It was determined that discrimination occurs in all phases of housing, i.e. in the supply, the allocation and during the occupation of housing. 

Legal Seminar 2011: Approaches to Equality and Non-discrimination Legislation inside and outside the EU

On 4 October 2011 the fourth yearly seminar of the Network was organised in cooperation with the European Network of Legal Experts in the field of Gender Equality (managed by the Faculty of Law at Utrecht University). The seminar attracted 158 participants, representatives of the European Commission, EU Member States governments, Equality Bodies and European NGOs. The feedback from the participants, collected through a satisfaction survey (PDF 76 kB)resulted in a good rating.

Legal Seminar 2009 - On the implementation of EU law on equal opportunities and anti-discrimination

For the second time the yearly seminar of the Network was organised in cooperation with the European Network of Legal Experts in the field of Gender Equality (managed by the Faculty of Law of Utrecht University).  The seminar, which took place in Brussels on 6 October 2009, attracted 185 participants, representatives of the European Commission, EU Member States governments, Equality Bodies and European NGOs.

The objective of the Legal Seminar was to provide the participants with an opportunity to exchange views on the transposition and implementation of EU equality and anti-discrimination Directives and to discuss particular issues of discrimination. The programme (PDF 81 kB) of the seminar included both plenary sessions and parallel workshops.

The feedback from the satisfaction survey (PDF 183 kB) resulted in a good overall rating of the organisation, the speakers and the discussion in the workshops.

Go to the European Commission - Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities This initiative is financed by the EC Programme Progress. But the views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the official views of the EU institutions.