Select Committee on European Union Ninth Report




Article 1


The purpose of this Directive is to put into effect in the Member States of the European Union the principle of equal treatment between individuals irrespective of racial or ethnic origin. This principle is referred to as the "principle of equal treatment".

Article 2

Concept of discrimination

1. For the purposes of this Directive, the principle of equal treatment shall mean that there shall be no direct or indirect discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin.

2. Within the meaning of paragraph 1:

    (a) direct discrimination shall be taken to occur where one person is treated less favourably than another is, has been or would be treated on grounds of racial or ethnic origin.

    (b) indirect discrimination shall be taken to occur where an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice is liable to adversely affect a person or a group of persons of a particular racial or ethnic origin, unless that provision, criterion or practice is objectively justified by a legitimate aim which is unrelated to the racial or ethnic origin of a person or a group of persons and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.

3. Harassment of a person or a group of persons related to racial or ethnic origin, which has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive or disturbing environment in any of the areas covered in Article 3, shall be deemed to be discrimination within the meaning of paragraph 1.

Article 3

Material scope

Within the limits of the powers conferred upon the Community, this directive shall apply to:

    (a) the conditions for access to employment, self-employment and occupation, including selection criteria and recruitment conditions, whatever the sector or branch of activity and at all levels of the professional hierarchy, including promotion;

    (b) access to all types and to all levels, of vocational guidance, vocational training, advanced vocational training and retraining;

    (c) employment and working conditions, including dismissals and pay;

    (d) membership of and involvement in an organisation of workers or employers, or any other organisation whose members carry on a particular profession, as well as the benefits provided for by such organisations;

    (e) social protection and social security;

    (f) social advantages;

    (g) education, including grants and scholarships, while fully respecting the responsibility of the Member States for the content of teaching and the organisation of education systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity;

    (h) access to and supply of goods and services.

Article 4

Genuine occupational qualifications

Notwithstanding Article 2, paragraphs 1 and 2, Member States may provide that a difference of treatment which is based on a characteristic related to racial or ethnic origin shall not constitute discrimination where, by reason of the nature of the particular occupational activities concerned or of the context in which they are carried out, such a characteristic constitutes a genuine occupational qualification.

Article 5

Positive action

This Directive shall be without prejudice to the right of the Member States to maintain or adopt measures intended to prevent or compensate for disadvantages suffered by a group of persons of a particular racial or ethnic origin.

Article 6

Minimum requirements

1. Member States may introduce or maintain provisions which are more favourable to the protection of the principle of equal treatment than those laid down in this Directive.

2. The implementation of this directive shall under no circumstances constitute sufficient grounds for a reduction in the level of protection against discrimination already afforded by Member States in the fields covered by this Directive.

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