Discrimination of Social Groups


A thorough and systematic analysis of the consequences of options for equality of opportunity is necessary to avoid unanticipated negative impacts on any groups that are protected under equal treatment and non-discrimination legislation (Art. 13 EU) on the following grounds: sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, race or ethnic origin. This analysis shall make sure that formal equality (de jure) as well as material equality (de facto) are ensured. Where adverse potential effects are identified, measures should be proposed which might mitigate the negative effects, or consideration should be given to alternative policy options that better promote equality of opportunity.
The main areas where potential effects should be assessed are those which are related to the scope of application of the two Directives on anti-discrimination adopted in 2000 (Race Equality Directive, 2000/43/EC and Employment Equality Directive, 2000/78/EC). In the field of employment: (i) conditions for access to employment, self-employment and occupation; (ii) access to all types and all levels of vocational guidance, including vocational training; (iii) employment and working conditions, including dismissal and pay; (iv) membership of/involvement in an organisation of workers or employers. Directive, 2000/43/EC also indicates other possible fields where impacts might occur, such as social protection (including social security and healthcare), education and access to goods and services. Indirect discrimination occurs when an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice would disadvantage people on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation unless the practice can be objectively justified by a legitimate aim.
This text is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace any reference documents. The text is adapted from:
Guidance for assessing Social Impacts within the Commission Impact Assessment system: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=760&langId=en

Guiding Question

Does the option affect the principle of non-discrimination, equal treatment and equal opportunities for all? Or could it lead to indirect discrimination?

Relevant Policies

Since 2000, in addition to Directives covering the equal treatment of men and women, EU antidiscrimination legislation has been in place to ensure minimum levels of equal treatment and protection irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, religion and belief, disability, sexual orientation and age. http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/employment_and_social_policy/antidiscrimination_relations_with_civil_society/index_en.htm


Please link to relevant Directorate General Contact Details.

Web Resources

Further Sources of Data

Please link to other sources of data, e.g. important reports, annual reports etc.  

Further Sources of Information

European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=423&langId=en
European Commission, DG Justice: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/justice/index_en.htm
Agency for Fundamental Rights: http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/home/home_en.htm
European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-Discrimination Field: http://www.non-discrimination.net/
Council of Europe, European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI): http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/ecri/default_en.asp
Other data and relevant information can be obtained from national equality bodies and the European-level NGOs representing relevant groups: ENAR (European Network Against Racism), AGE (Older People's Platform), ILGA-Europe (the European Region of the International Gay and Lesbian Association), EDF (European Disability Forum) and ERIO (European Roma Information Office).

Eurostat Indicators

Data for other groups, which are likely to be used for designing, adapting, monitoring and evaluating policies, are also available from EUROSTAT (especially for age related issues): http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/

Other Official Indicators

Please insert indicators relevant to the question, choose indicators provided e.g. by international organizations like the OECD, IEA, ILO or academic institutes.