Equinet promotes equality in Europe through supporting and enabling the work of national equality bodies. It supports equality bodies to be independent and effective as valuable catalysts for more equal societies. 

Equinet Newsbook

September 2015

Equinet News


Equinet meets with Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality

27/08/2015: Equinet Chair Evelyn Collins and Executive Director Anne Gaspard met with EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová to present the role of Equinet and equality bodies and exchange on current EU priorities in relation to equality and non-discrimination.

Seminar Summary: Training Session - EU funds

3-4/9/2015: The Commission for Protection against Discrimination hosted a training session on “Helping equality bodies to apply for and use EU funds” in Sofia, Bulgaria for staff members of equality bodies.

Equinet meets US Special Envoy on the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons

10/09/2015: Equinet attended a roundtable discussion with Randy W. Berry, US Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, together with European NGOs, equality body representatives and European organizations.

Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM)

29/09/2015: The HDIM 2015 of OSCE participating States is Europe's largest annual human rights and democracy conference and takes place from 21 September to 2 October. Anne Gaspard, Equinet Exectuvie Director moderated the Working Session 12 - Combating hate crimes and ensuring effective protection against discrimination.


The Public Profile of Equality Bodies: An Equinet Report

The shaping of the public profile is one of the main tasks for the communicators of any equality body. Doing it properly and effectively might be one of the greatest challenges that the communicators face. Written by our Working Group on Communication Strategies and Practices, this report aims to share our experience on different ways of dealing with public-profile building and to remind and advocate for the importance of keeping track and being proactive as regards the public profile of the equality body.


Equinet opens call for Administration & Finance Trainee

We're looking for a trainee from October 2015 to March 2016 to support the administrative and financial management of the Secretariat, as well as the planning and organisation of Equinet events. Deadline: 11/10/2015


Equinet Members

European Commission

  • 28/08/2015: The European Commission has issued a policy initiative under the title ‘New start to address the challenges of work-life balance faced by working families’. The roadmap aims to address the low participation of women in the labour market by modernising and adapting the current EU legal and policy framework to today's labour market. 

European Parliament

  • 08/08/2015: The European Parliament adopted the final version of the report on the Situation of Fundamental Rights in the EU 2013-2014. The report calls on the European Commission to adopt an internal strategy on fundamental rights in the “near future”. It also urges the Council of the EU to adopt the horizontal Equal Treatment Directive as soon as possible.

Council of the European Union

  • 02/09/2015: A consolidated version of the proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation (Horizontal Directive) has been made public.

United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

  • 27-28/08/2015: The UN Committee held a Constructive Dialogue with the EU delegation on the EU’s work on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first international human rights treaty ever ratified by the EU. In September 2015, the UN Committee published its concluding observations.

Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)

  • 16/07/2015: The CJEU issued a preliminary ruling in a case of alleged discrimination on grounds of ethnicity, referred to it by a Bulgarian court (Case C‑83/14). The Court provided important guidance on the application of Directive 2000/43/EC (the Race Equality Directive) to a determination of whether an electricity company’s placing of electricity meters in majority-Roma districts at a height where users could not read them was discrimination. Summary by Equal Rights Trust


Read previous Newsletters here.

Equinet AGM

9/10/2015: Equinet will bring together its general assembly of members in Brussels to make decisions concerning the general steering of Equinet, including ratifying new members, electing a new Executive Board and voting on the 2016 Work Plan. 

Equinet Seminar: A question of faith. Religion and belief in the work of equality bodies

9-10/11/2015: The Equality and Human Rights Commission will host the Seminar "A question of faith. Religion and belief in the work of equality bodies" in London (UK). The seminar will take stock of legal and political developments, as well as remaining challenges in ensuring freedom of religion and combating religious or faith-based discrimination at European and national levels. For Equinet members only.

Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights

1-2/09/2015: First Vice President Frans Timmermans, in cooperation with EU Commissioner Věra Jourová, will host the first Annual Colloquium on fundamental rights in the EU. Focused on Tolerance and respect: preventing and combating antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred in Europe, the Colloquium will aim at improving mutual cooperation and greater political engagement for the promotion and protection of fundamental rights in Europe.

FRA Stakeholder Consultation

The European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) would like to gather views from its key stakeholders on the thematic areas of FRA’s work from 2018-2022.
Deadline: 16/10/2015

EC Public Consultation

European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, Equality Legislation Unit has launched a public consultation on the implementation and application of Council Directive 79/7/EEC on the progressive implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in matters of social security. Deadline: 14/12/2015

European Parliament

- The Study on Maternity, Paternity and Parental Leave visualizes the duration of and compensation rates of previous incomes during maternity, paternity and parental leave in the Member States of the European Union. 
- Six new reports covering the recent developments in gender equality policies in Czech Republic, France, Germany, Latvia, Slovenia and Sweden have been published, while the Gender Equality papers on Poland and Belgium were also updated.  

Council of Europe

- The Gender Equality Unit has published a new brochure bringing together the main Council of Europe instruments on gender equality and women’s rights.

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

- In the context of the “Free & Equal” Campaign, the Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights published a factsheet on the rights of intersex people. 

European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)

- FRA has published a report on the provision of healthcare for migrants in irregular situation in the EU. Research suggests that Member States would spend less on migrant health by treating them earlier, rather than waiting until they require emergency treatment.

European Commission

- EuroBarometer (428) Gender Equality
- Flash Euro Barometer (416) The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU
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