Aug 01

European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-Discrimination Field

The European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-Discrimination Field was created by the European Commission in December 2007 with the purpose of establishing a network of legal experts in the field of discrimination on the grounds of racial and ethnic origin, religion or belief, age, disability and sexual orientation and to support the Commission’s work by providing independent information and advice on relevant developments in the EU Member States and more recently the additional countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway and Turkey.


In recent years anti-discrimination legislation has been adopted and reviewed in a great many European countries. This major operation was originally set in motion with the adoption of the Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC) and the Employment Equality Directive (2000/78/EC).

In order to tackle discrimination effectively, it is important to understand the effects of the EU's equal treatment legislation on the different grounds of discrimination. Consequently, information on the implementation of the two anti-discrimination directives into national law is as important as analysing their impact in practice, including any related case-law. In the fight against discrimination, the European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-Discrimination Field aims to provide in-depth information and advice on law and policy developments throughout the EU Member States and additional countries of the Network.


In addition to the consortium, the project team comprises national experts and an executive committee (both ground-specific and other specialised experts)

All the experts in this independent network have a sound understanding and extensive experience in the field of non-discrimination which is recognised at both European and national level.

The basis for the research and other work undertaken by the Network is the annual work programme.

Each year, the Network produces a number of (national) reports and publications, responds to specific ad-hoc questions from the European Commission, organises an annual legal seminar and, as appropriate, participates in and makes presentations at seminars and conferences.

Report(s) / events

Country reports and summaries

Each year national reports and summaries are produced by the 33 country experts, providing a detailed and concise overview of the legal framework and significant case-law, assessed against the requirements set out in the two anti-discrimination Directives (2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC), as well as highlighting any gaps in implementation.

Information provided in these reports is relevant for key actors such as decision-makers but also for the public at large, including researchers, students, practitioners and policy-makers. These reports are also supplemented by country summaries that enable the readership to gain an overview, in a few pages, of the national situation regarding anti-discrimination.

Finally, these annual country reports serve as a basis for the annual comparative analysis produced by the Network.

The latest national reports for each country are available in the menu on the right.

To download previous national reports produced by the Network, please visit the individual country pages via the Network's website.

Comparative analysis

Developing anti-discrimination law in Europe (the comparative analysis) is produced annually and provides an opportunity to compare and analyse the legal situation in the 33 countries of the Network, enabling both anti-discrimination specialists and non-specialists to enhance their knowledge in this area.

Law review

The European anti-discrimination law review is published twice yearly and reports on key legal developments at the national and EU levels. This publication includes updates on the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) case-law, news from the Member States and other countries covered by the project and two academic articles. The articles offer a deeper analysis of specific issues concerning legal developments, case-law and the implementation of legislation or interpretation of legal concepts. Topics for articles are agreed with the Commission.

This publication is targeted at researchers, lawyers and policy-makers.

Thematic reports

Thematic reports (up to three per year) highlight specific issues by providing a deeper analysis of and a consistent approach to the effective implementation and enforcement of the two anti-discrimination directives, as well as identifying possible weaknesses or shortcomings in the existing legal framework. Thus they analyse and clarify legal concepts and how they work in practice.

Each report is drafted by a contracted author, approved by the Commission, under the responsibility of one of the senior experts from the executive committee. The author of the thematic report is often a country expert, a member of the executive committee or an expert from outside the Network.

Thematic reports can also serve as a basis for discussion at our annual legal seminar, where key actors have the opportunity to meet to discuss fundamental legal issues.

For more information on these and other publications produced by the Network, or to download available reports and publications, please visit the Network's website.

Flash reports

Flash reports are produced by the network for use by the European Commission, with the purpose of systematically providing succinct information and analysis on the most recent legal developments occurring at the national level. They reflect the scope of the two anti-discrimination directives and aim to make identification of information at the national level more dynamic and to ensure that all relevant amendments in law, new case-law, key legal issues and related key policy developments are monitored and reported to the Commission, as the institution vested with the power to initiate legislative proposals at the EU level and as the guardian of the Treaties in case of conflict with EU law.

The flash reports serve as a basis for the information included in the law review, covering news from the Member States and news reports published on the Network's website. Contributions from various flash reports are carefully selected by the content manager/deputy coordinator and the researcher/editor.

Ad-hoc questions

Throughout the year, the Network provides answers to requests from the Commission for information, advice and detailed analysis in relation to specific ad-hoc questions. These requests may be of a horizontal nature (concerning all or some of the countries covered by the Network) or may focus on individual countries.

Legal seminar

The European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-Discrimination Field held its fifth legal seminar on 26 November 2012 in Brussels, Belgium, which focused on 'Equality Law for Everyone: Challenges Ahead'.

This annual seminar, organised in cooperation with the European Network of Legal Experts in the Field of Gender Equality, is aimed at officials nominated by the countries involved in the Network and representatives of equality bodies, European NGOs and social partners and the Commission. Each year the event is attended by nearly 200 participants.

For further information on the Network's annual seminars and to download (audio) presentation material of the seminar's workshops, please click here.


The project website (developed and maintained by Human European Consultancy) publicises the deliverables of the network, including regular news reports on legal developments in the countries covered by the Network and at the EU level.

Main findings

For an overview of the Network's findings, please visit the Network's website where general as well as country-specific information is available.


European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-Discrimination Field – JUST/2011/PROG/PR/ADL/02/D1 (2005 - 2014)

In partnership with the Migration Policy Group (MPG)

European Union Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Macedonia (FYR), Norway, Turkey

Related publications

See: http://www.equalitylaw.eu/

Related publications

Age and Employment (1 October 2011)

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