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European equality law network

The European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination was established in 2014 to succeed the former European network of legal experts in the non-discrimination field and the European network of legal experts in the field of gender equality. The contract with the European Commission for this joint network was renewed in 2019 to cover another four year period. The purpose of the network is to support the Commission to protect equal treatment and combat discrimination by providing independent, reliable and expert information and advice on relevant developments at EU level and in the countries covered by the network.

Aim

The aim of the European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination is to provide reliable, expert information to enable the European Commission to fulfil its role as guardian of the treaties. The network gathers and disseminates information on gender equality and non-discrimination legislation, case law and developments at the national level. Due to the specificities of national legal systems, language barriers and difficulties in finding relevant material, such information is not often easily accessible. It therefore remains a constant and primary objective of the network to continue to make this information accessible to the general public, through the network’s various publications as well as on their website.

Project

In addition to the consortium, the project team is made up of national experts, ground-specific and specialised experts, all of whom have extensive experience and knowledge of the fields of gender equality and non-discrimination.

The network produces a number of (national) reports and publications, responds to specific ad-hoc requests from the European Commission, reports on the impact of landmark decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Member States, organises an annual legal seminar and, as appropriate, participates in and makes presentations at seminars and conferences.

Report(s) / events

Country reports and summaries

For each of the network's 36 countries, a detailed and concise overview of the legal framework and significant case law assessed against the requirements set out in the gender equality directives as well as the Racial Equality and Employment Equality Directive is produced in the form of national reports and summaries.

Information contained in these documents is not only relevant for decision makers but also for researchers, students, practitioners or policymakers.

These reports and summaries serve as a basis and feed into the comparative analyses produced by each stream of the network.

Comparative analyses

Each stream of the network produces a comparative analysis publication. These are annual publications and provide an opportunity to compare and analyse the legal situation in the network's 36 countries – enabling both gender equality and non-discrimination specialists and non-specialists to enhance their knowledge in these fields.

European equality law review

The European equality law review is published twice yearly and reports on key legal developments at the national and EU levels. Also included in this publication are updates on the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) case law, news from the Member States and other countries covered by the project as well as four articles. The articles offer a deeper analysis of specific issues concerning the implementation and effective enforcement of gender equality and non-discrimination as they relate to legal developments, case law and the implementation of legislation or interpretation of legal concepts. Topics for articles are agreed with the European Commission.

The law review is targeted at researchers, lawyers and policymakers.

Thematic reports

Thematic reports produced each year by the network cover the EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and highlight specific issues by providing a deeper analysis of, and a consistent approach to, the practical impact of the EU directives covered by the network as well as potential gaps in transposition or implementation at the national level.

Each of the thematic reports is written by an author who is an expert in the field relevant to the particular theme of the report.

Thematic reports can also serve as a basis for discussion at the network’s annual legal seminar, where key actors have the opportunity to come together to discuss fundamental legal issues.

Flash reports

Flash reports are produced by both streams of the network, for use by the European Commission. These short reports, published individually and also as contributing material of the news from the Member States in the network's bi-annual law review, cover key legal and policy-related developments at the national level and particularly highlight potential conflicts with EU law. These reports also reflect the scope of the gender equality and two non-discrimination directives. They aim to make identification of information at the national level more dynamic as well as ensure that all relevant amendments in law, new case law, key legal issues and related key policy developments are monitored and reported to the European Commission.

Flash reports can also relate to CJEU’s landmark decisions in the field of equality and non-discrimination that have a particular impact in some or several EU Member States. Such flash reports analyse and describe the impact of such cases in the Member States concerned.

More information on these and other publications produced by the gender and non-discrimination streams of this network are available here.

Ad-hoc requests

Throughout the year, the network provides answers to requests from the European Commission for information, advice and detailed analysis in relation to specific ad-hoc requests. These requests may be of a horizontal nature (concerning all or some of the countries covered by the network) or focus on individual countries. These requests correspond to specific needs the European Commission might have on various issues and could deal with one specific ground/field, some grounds/fields or all the grounds/fields covered by the network. They could also be linked to a specific court case, policy development or any specific event at the national level in relation to gender equality and non-discrimination.

Legal seminar

Each year, the network holds a legal seminar. This seminar aims to discuss key issues relating to the gender equality and non-discrimination directives and the fight against discrimination on all grounds covered by the network.

The seminar brings together the network experts as well as national governmental representatives from the countries covered by the network, representatives of national specialised equality bodies and of the European Commission, representatives of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and the European Institute for Gender Equality as well as other relevant stakeholders such as civil society organisations and/or social partners.

Website

All reports, the European equality law review and country specific developments, including news flashes, are published on the project website. This website is developed and maintained by Human European Consultancy.

Please visit the network’s website here for more information.

Main findings

For an overview of the network's findings, both in their former and present capacities, please visit the network's website where general as well as country-specific information is available.

Details

European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination
(December 2014 – December 2018)

European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination 
(December 2018 – December 2022)

European Commission – DG Justice and Consumers (JUST)

Migration Policy Group (MPG) and Utrecht University

European Union Member States, Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey

 

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