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

October 2015

Equinet News


Our Annual General Meeting gathered representatives of equality bodies from across Europe, as well as various stakeholders from Europe and the U.S, to reflect on Equinet’s work over the past year and to discuss and take decisions for the future of the network.

Jenny R. Yang, Chair of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission delivered a keynote speech available here.

A new Executive board for 2015-2017 of 9 members was elected, to be chaired by Evelyn Collins, Chief Executive of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.
Moreover, following unanimous ratification of new membership applications by the General Assembly, Equinet is pleased to welcome three new members, raising Equinet’s membership to 45 national equality bodies from 33 countries across Europe:

Equinet also adopted its 2016 Work Plan


Equality Bodies and the Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights

1/10/2015: Equinet took part in the first EC Colloquium on Fundamental Rights, Tolerance and respect: preventing and combatting antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred in Europe’. The Colloquium aimed at improving mutual cooperation and greater political engagement for the promotion and protection of fundamental rights in Europe. The conclusions of the Colloquium include a call for Member States to strengthen the role and capacities of national equality bodies. To read more about our contribution to the colloquium, click here. A joint statement by civil society was published in advance of the Colloquium.

Equinet to become observer of CAHROM

15/10/2015: The Rapporteur Group on Social and Health Questions (GR-SOC) of the Council of Europe has accepted that, as of January 2016, Equinet will become an observer of the Ad Hoc Committee  of Experts on Roma Issues (CAHROM). 


European Commission

  • 30/10/2015: The EC has published its Analysis of the public consultation: Equality between women and men in the EU, just days before European Equal Pay Day (2/11), which marks the day in the year when women across Europe stop being paid, while men will continue to earn money until 31 December.
  • 19/10/2015: The European Commission issued a new roadmap entitled (A possible) EU Accession to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). The Convention, adopted on 6 April 2011, is the first instrument in Europe to set legally binding standards to specifically prevent violence against women and girls, protect its victims and punish perpetrators. 

European Parliament

Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)

European Court of Human Rights (ECrtHR)

  • 20/10/2015: Balázs v. Hungary - Relying on Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) read in conjunction with Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), Mr Balázs complained that the authorities had failed to conduct an effective investigation into the racist attack against him, and in particular that they had not taken sufficient action to establish a possible racist motive for the assault.

European Union Fundamental Rights Agency

  • 06/10/2015: FRA launched a pilot version of Clarity, an interactive online tool to help people with their fundamental rights problems. Clarity, which stands for the ‘Complaints, Legal Assistance and Rights Information Tool for You’, allows users to easily access information on non-judicial bodies dealing with their particular fundamental rights issue(s) in a given EU Member State.


  • Silver-Rainbow was launched at the beginning of October as a social media campaign to highlight life experiences of older LGBTI people.
  • Rainbow Europe is a unique virtual hub for information on the legal, political and social situation of LGBTI people in Europe.


Read previous Newsletters here.

REGISTRATION OPEN FOR EQUINET CONFERENCE: Equality bodies and the new freedom of movement directive - challenge or opportunity?

Paris, 08/12/2015: The Defender of Rights will host the conferenc, which is dedicated to the role of equality bodies in combating nationality-based discrimination under the implementation of the new Directive. Aimed at senior management and experts from national equality bodies, representatives of EU institutions and agencies, NGOs, policy or legal experts, social partners and other organisations active in the field. Register here by 16 November.

EQUINET SEMINAR: A question of faith. Religion and belief in the work of equality bodies

London, 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. It 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.


Equinet Highlights 2014-2015

The Equinet Highlights brings together the main highlights of our work, including events, publications and other activities, that were carried out from January 2014 to July 2015 in order to attain our strategic goals, as set out in the Strategic Plan 2015-2018.

A Growing Agenda: The work of Equality Bodies on the ground of Religion or Belief

This Equinet Perspective aims to explore and communicate the strategic approaches developed by equality bodies on the ground of religion or belief; the body of work carried out on the ground of religion or belief; and the implications and learning from this work.


Council for the Elimination of Ethnic or Racial Discrimination (Spain)

The Council is an associate partner of the CORE-project which produced a guide on How to deal with cases of discrimination and hate and intolerance crimes. The guide identifies legal instruments, private and public organizations providing assistance to victims of discrimination and hate crimes and where to report discrimination, as well as relevant case-law and key recommendations about how to ensure the effectiveness of complaints made by victims.  
The Institute of Women and for Equal Opportunities who published that guide, have also released a study in English and Spanish on Embracing diversity: proposals for an education free of homophobia and transphobia.

Equality and Human Rights Commission (UK Great Britain)

The biggest review to date of Britain's progress towards equality and human rightsIs Britain Fairer? launches today. A unique review in looking across every area of our lives including education, health, security, employment, standard of living, participation, influence and voice, it finds that while great strides have been made, inequalities have widened in a number of areas, leaving certain groups at risk of falling behind in life. Full details here.


European Commission 

EuroBarometer (437) Discrimination The 2015 survey repeats several questions asked in previous years in order to provide insight into the evolution of perceptions, attitudes, knowledge and awareness of discrimination in the European Union. A number of new questions have been added to further explore social acceptance of some groups at risk of discrimination.

Council of Europe

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) published monitoring reports on Austria, the Czech Republic and Estonia, analysing recent developments and outstanding issues and providing recommendations to the authorities. 

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)



Consultation on  the EU's production of data about people and households in Europe. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, is currently reviewing the framework for the production of its data about the people and households in the EU. This data helps the EU to make the best policies for its citizens, and the citizens to understand and compare the social situation in the different EU Member States. 
Deadline: 15/11/2015

Consultation on EU Citizenship: ‘Share your opinion on our common values, rights and democratic participation’.  The Commission wants to know about any obstacles citizens might be facing in their daily lives living, studying, working, shopping or simply travelling within the EU. They would also like to hear ideas about how to remove these obstacles and make it simpler for citizens to enjoy their EU citizenship rights in their daily lives.  
Deadline: 7/12/2015

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
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