The European Union is strongly committed to combating discrimination and to promoting equality. There are legislative instruments covering grounds of discrimination, such as race/ethnicity, age, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation and gender. There are also various policy and programme instruments that provide for stimulating and enabling measures to promote equality and combat discrimination with the purpose of improving the situation of those groups experiencing inequality in European societies.
Equality data and indicators are needed to develop policy and policy instruments to promote equality and assess the effects of these. However, such data are sparse, patchy and often incomparable at EU level.
Hence this project aims to provide the European Commission with analysis and relevant information on the national legal framework, policies and activities in the field of equality data collection in the EU Member States.
With the revision of the 2007 Handbook the project also aims to provide a renewed tool for policymakers, equality practitioners and other interested stakeholders to collect equality data, which will support to strive for increasing equality and combatting discrimination.
The project focusses on data collection in relation to equality and non-discrimination in the European Union.
For the project a mapping has been conducted of existing legal frameworks and practices in the Member States of the EU, the 2007 Handbook on Equality Data has been revised and updated and a comparative review of data collection in the EU Member States has been produced.
The mapping consisted of a review of the national legal framework, policies and activities in the field of equality data collection in the 28 EU Member States, covering the grounds of age, ethnic or racial origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion or belief and multiple grounds, addressing relevant legal frameworks for equality data collection; which equality data are collected, frequency of data collection, definitions and categories used and how data collected is used by the national authorities.
The mapping resulted in an overview of the situation relating to equality data collection in each of the 28 EU Member States and provided the European Commission with country specific information on the latest developments in equality data collection which are at present missing. The results of the mapping were a key input and basis for the other deliverables and reports under the contract.
Furthermore two specific mapping exercises focussed on ethnicity and on LGBTI.
The European Handbook on Equality Data, produced in 2007 by the Finnish Ministry of Labour with support of the European Commission, has been fully reviewed and updated with all developments in relevant data legislation, practices, methods of equality data collection, sources and good practice examples. An assessment was made of the progress on the eight overall recommendations in chapter 8 of the original handbook. New recommendations for improving data collection efforts at EU and national level have been included.
Last but not least, equality data collection in the EU Member States has been assessed in terms of similarities and dissimilarities between Member States regarding the collection of equality data, main common challenges across the EU and possible ways to bridge gaps between national practices.
The mapping resulted in a report giving an overview (“mapping”) of the situation relating to equality data collection in each of the 28 EU Member States.
Secondly, two specific reports were written, one focusing on ethnicity and one on LGBTI. These reports summarise the main findings for these two grounds of discrimination at EU level and include a set of recommendations.
Thirdly, the 2007 Handbook on Equality Data has been updated.
Fourthly, a comparative report on developments at EU and Member State level and the challenges ahead has been produced.
EU Member States need to tap into the existing data sources at EU (EU-wide surveys) and national level, taking advantage of already-existing data to analyse and report on equality and non-discrimination issues. This helps to avoid costly duplication of data collection efforts. Each EU Member State needs to conduct a mapping exercise in order to investigate what data are available and can be used as equality data sources.
Also, to enhance comparability and compatibility of data from various sources, differences in definitions, classifications and categorisation need to be identified and addressed, both at EU and national level.
Data collected across the 28 EU Member States through the EU-wide surveys, such as LFS, EU-SILC, Eurobarometer and other EU-wide surveys, should be made more equality and non-discrimination specific.
EU-level and national stakeholders, such as equality bodies, research institutes and NGOs, who are willing and competent to collect equality data, should be supported with the resources to do so, in
particular in relation to data on discrimination experience and complaints data.
Last but not least, all stakeholders can enhance the acceptance of data collection for equality and non-discrimination purposes by explaining that collection of sensitive data is protected.