THE ACTION PROGRAMME
19. The proposed Action Programme complements the
draft Directives with a range of measures designed to "support
Member States' efforts to develop their policies and practices
to combat discrimination". It proposes to achieve this largely
by "encouraging the exchange of information and good practice"
rather than by supporting "legislation and policy development",
which will in themselves be the responsibility of Member States.
It will be aimed at key "target actors", listed as "independent
bodies responsible for the fight against discrimination, non-governmental
organisations, social partners, research institutes, the media,
opinion-formers, social service providers, the judiciary and law
enforcement agencies." The programme contains three strands.
The first aims to improve the understanding of issues related
to discrimination through the development of statistical bases,
benchmarks, and "indicators to assess the effectiveness of
anti-discrimination policies". The second aims to develop
the capacity of the "target actors" through the transnational
exchange of information and good practice. The third aims at raising
public awareness of the fight against discrimination, in particular
of its EU dimension. The proposal emphasises that in working towards
all these aims the Action Programme will have to complement and
not duplicate existing programmes, notably the Community Initiative
EQUAL (on employment) and the educational programmes SOCRATES,
LEONARDO and YOUTH. Participation in the Action Programme will
be opened up to candidate countries. The total cost of the programme
over its six years will be just under 100,000,000 Euros.
20. The present inquiry has focused on the two draft
Directives (see Appendix 3). The texts of the Directives will
be analysed in detail in Part 5, "Summary of Evidence".
24 Commission Press Release, "Anna Diamatopoulou
presents the anti-discrimination package at the European Parliament". Back
See Q 267. Back