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

May 2015

Equinet News

Equinet's Strategic Objective 1: Building Capacity and Peer Support of Equality Bodies
According to Equinet's Strategic Plan 2015-2018, one of our main objectives is to build the capacity of equality bodies and to give support to their staff members. To achieve this objective in 2015, Equinet is organising two seminars dedicated to the staff members of equality bodies: Charting the Charter - Equality Bodies and Fundamental Rights in EU (June 2015) and Work-Life Balance and Pregnancy and Parenthood Related Discrimination (July 2015).

European Commission

European Parliament

  • The Committee of Women's Rights and Gender Equality has published new reports: an opinion on the situation of women within marginalized communities; a report on the implementation of the Recast Directive 2006/54/EC (equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation); and a report on gender discrimination in access to education.
  • The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs published new reports: a report on reducing inequalities with special focus on child poverty; and a study ‘Differential Treatment of Workers under 25 with a View to their Access to the Labour Market’ that looks on the discrimination of young people under Employment Framework Directive. Furthermore, the study ‘Reasonable Accommodation and Sheltered Workshops for People with Disabilities: Costs and Returns of Investments’ focuses on overviewing policy measures that enable equal access to employment for people with disabilities.
  • The European Parliament has issued an analysis ‘Fundamental Rights in the European Union: The role of the Charter after the Lisbon Treaty’ that looks at historical developments and contemporary legal implications of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
European Court of Justice
  • European Court of Justice ruled on 30 April 2015 that permanently banning men that have sex with men (MSM) from blood donations can be justified, depending on the situation in the country. You can read the press release by European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup here.
European Court of Human Rights
  • Danis and Association of Ethnic Turks v. Romania (application no. 16632/09). A late change in the electoral law infringed the right to stand for election of an association representing the Turkish minority. The court found a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) and Article 3 of Protocol no. 1 (right to free elections): by amending the electoral legislation seven months before the 2008 parliamentary elections, the authorities had not given the applicants the opportunity to be able to satisfy the eligibility criteria introduced as a result of the new legislation.
  • Junta Rectora del Ertzainen Nazional Elkartasuna v. Spain (application no. 45892/09). The case concerns the inability of members of a police officers’ trade union to exercise the right to strike. The court found that the stringent requirements imposed on ‘law-enforcement agents’ justified the ban on strike action on account of the fact that they were armed and needed to provide uninterrupted service. The court did not find a case of discrimination.

EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)

  • This FRA Review looks at the situation for children in criminal proceedings and gives recommendations for improving juridical systems from the perspective of children’s rights.
  • FRA has developed an EU Charter app - a fundamental rights one-stop-shop for mobile devices. More information is available here.
  • as part of World Roma Day 2015, FRA calls on intensified efforts to improve Roma inclusion. The full article is available here.


  • United Nations have addressed a list of issues to the initial report of the European Union on the implementation of the UN convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • The European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI), which cooperates with the Fundamental Rights Agency, Council of Europe and Equinet in the Platform on Asylum and Migration, has issued a statement outlining how the EU can avoid more tragedies in the Mediterranean from a human rights perspective.


Read previous Newsletters here.

Call for public consultation

Following the Forum on Future of Gender Equality which was held in April 2015 in Brussels, the European Commission has launched a call for public consultation on the topic of equality between men and women. The objective of the consultation is to collect the views of the broad public in the context of the preparation of the Commission’s policy on equality between women and men after 2015. Equality Bodies are listed among consultation target groups. To participate in the consultation, complete the questionnaire by 21 July 2015. Read more here.

The European Women's Lobby and COFACE (Confederation of Family Organisation in the European Union) have launched a petition which aims to put an end to the EU Council’s blockage of the revised EU Maternity Leave Directive.


Council of Europe's Resolution on the rights for trans people

Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) adopted a resolution for the rights of Trans people. The resolution calls for the abolition of medical requirements as a basis for legal gender recognitions and for depathologisation of Trans identities. The report also makes several recommendations regarding the accessibility to the gender reassignment procedures and health care for Trans people.

IDAHO Forum 2015

This year IDAHO Forum took place on 11-12 May in Budva, Montenegro, bringing together representatives of governments, European institutions and European civil society, including Equinet’s Executive Director Anne Gaspard, to share various experiences, views and approaches on ‘Ending hate crime and violence’.

Rainbow Europe Package 2015

ILGA-Europe has launched its Rainbow Europe Package 2015. This includes a map showing the situation for LGBTI people in each European country according to the ranking of national legislations; as well as an Annual Review giving an overview of social and political contexts, in which LGBTI people are living in their countries.


Project RAINBOW HAS published a report ‘Rights through Alliances: Innovating and Networking both within homes and schools’ summarizing project activities and findings focusing on monitoring the situation for LGBTI children in schools in Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, and Poland.

FRA's paper on legal situation of intersex people

EU Fundamental Rights Agency issued a paper that looks at the legal framework of Intersex people across the EU, especially regarding the official gender recognition and sex 'normalising' medical interventions. 
European Network Against Racism (ENAR) has published its annual Shadow Report on Racist Crime in Europe. Watch their video here.

The European Commission has published a booklet entitled 'Know your Rights!' that provides easily accessible guidance for victims of discrimination. It informs them of their rights under EU law, about what they can do and whom they can contact for support, including national equality bodies.
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