12 August 2019
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Current text of the proposed Directive on equal treatment between persons: over a decade of discussions and still no agreement
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The Member States still cannot agree on the proposed Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, which was proposed by the Commission in 2008. The measure requires unanimity between the Member States and the consent of the Parliament to become law. The Parliament adopted its opinion in April 2009.
The document below includes the full-text of the proposed Directive as it stands, along with Member States' positions (contained in 161 footnotes).
See: NOTE from: General Secretariat of the Council to: Delegations: Proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation (10576/19, LIMITE, 26 June 2019, pdf):
"III. MAJOR OUTSTANDING ISSUES AND STATE OF PLAY
Although progress has been made, the Working Party has recognised the need for further discussion, with a view to resolving the outstanding questions, which include the following:
1) Remaining issues related to the scope, the division of competences and the issue of subsidiarity; areas where clarification is required include housing, education, social security, transportation and the physical/built environment.
2) The disability provisions, including accessibility and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities, in the context of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) as well as in relation to the European Accessibility Act (EAA) or other existing EU legislation regulating accessibility or reasonable accommodation.
3) The implementation provisions.
4) The need to ensure legal certainty in the Directive as a whole.
5) The overall financial and practical impact of the proposal, including on SMEs.
For the time being, all delegations have therefore maintained general scrutiny reservations on the proposal. CZ, DK and UK have maintained parliamentary scrutiny reservations. The Commission has meanwhile affirmed its original proposal at this stage and has maintained a scrutiny reservation on any changes thereto."
"DE and PL have maintained general reservations and expressed various concerns.
DE has questioned the existence of an adequate legal basis, and taken the view that the proposal violates the subsidiarity principle. DE has stressed, moreover, that a sufficient impact assessment and cost-benefit analysis had not been carried out. DE has also emphasised the burden that the proposed measures would impose on businesses (especially SMEs) and underlined the lack of legal certainty as a critical issue. Believing that the issues covered in the proposal could be better regulated at the national level, DE has regarded the proposal as infringing on national competence.
PL has also taken the view that the proposal fails to respect the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality as well as the division of competences between the EU and its Member States. PL explained that the proposed Directive appeared to be incompatible with certain aspects of Polish national law, including derogations contained in national anti-discrimination law as well as the freedom of economic activity and the freedom to contract enshrined in the Polish Constitution."
See: NOTE from: General Secretariat of the Council to: Delegations: Proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation (10576/19, LIMITE, 26 June 2019, pdf)
The Parliament's position can be found here: Equal treatment: implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation(EP, link)
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