The Role of Judicial and Non-Judicial Actors
Edited by Lorenza Violini and Antonia Baraggia
Chapter 9: Promoting equality by non-judicial actors: The role of equality bodies in the European Union landscape
The chapter analyses the role played by the Equality Bodies (NEBs) established within the member states of the European Union in order to comply with the Directive 2000/43/EC and its offspring. After illustrating the variety of the national transpositions of a very vague European model, the author focuses on the tasks carried out by NEBs, particularly highlighting their unique position between the European and national legal orders. As a consequence, NEBs have the potential for performing a double and really crucial role, being capable of both implementing EU anti-discrimination law at national level better, and improving understanding of discrimination-related issues at European level. Unfortunately, however, the analysis carried out in the chapter reveals that, at least if we consider the overall European landscape, NEBs cannot yet deploy such strong potential in practice in many member states, due to legislative, political and financial constraints. Some initiatives have already been undertaken at national and European level to increase NEBs funding and resources, improve their accessibility, extend their competences and measure their effectiveness, but they are still very much at early stages. The conclusion of the author is that only if Europe is prepared to intensify their effort towards a full implementation of such initiatives, NEBs may really become key actors in the fights against discrimination in the future.
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