The European Committee of the Regions is in the process of elaborating its position on the recently published European Commission Communication
"A Union of Equality: EU anti-racism action plan 2020-2025".
An exchange of views on the basis of a
Working Document by the Rapporteur, Ms
Yoomi Renström (SE-PES), is scheduled on 25 November 2020, within the framework of the meeting of the CoR Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC).
The European Commission Communication, published on 18 September 2020, is one of the fundamental values on which the European Union is founded, enshrined in the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which give the EU a mandate and responsibility to combat discrimination.
The Treaty provisions have allowed the EU to introduce non-discrimination law for specific protected grounds (gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation). However, at present, there are gaps in EU anti-discrimination legislation and some grounds are still only covered in the area of employment and occupation.
The Action Plan sets out measures for the next 5 years, focusing on 5 axes: Better enforcement of EU law, closer cooperation between national and European level, fair policing and protection, the establishment of national action plans and increased diversity of EU staff. Other measures include awareness raising and addressing racial and ethnic stereotypes through media, education, culture and sport, improved collection of data disaggregated by ethnic or racial origin and the annual designation of European capital(s) of inclusion and diversity.
The action plan is also a step towards delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably SDG 10 on reducing inequality within and among countries.
The EU Action Plan against Racism 2020-2025 puts local and regional authorities at the centre of the solutions in the fight against racism. Local and regional authorities have a key role to play, as they are closest to the implementation level and are able to adapt and find solutions that are directly in line with people's needs. They deal regularly with equality and discrimination issues, such as affordable housing, supporting job creation, education, transport, security and all other areas that are essential to the daily lives of citizens.
Many local and regional authorities have designated elected representatives with specific responsibility for equal opportunities and equal rights.
Last but not least, local and regional authorities are often the frontrunners in information and communication initiatives aimed at the promotion of human rights.
With this in mind, in addition to the adoption of action plans against racism at national level, it could be useful to have regional and local action plans to address the systemic dimensions of racism with concrete actions in the territories.
Purpose of the consultation
With the aim of including a range of different positions and so enrich the opinion, encompassing the local and regional point of view and that of associations and organisations working in the field of gender equality, the rapporteur would like to ask you a number of questions in the form of a written consultation facilitated by the European Committee of the Regions.
The consultation focuses on the following questions that Ms Yoomi Renström would like you to answer,
in English, in a separate e-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org before 15 December 2020.
- What aspects of the European Commission Communication do you consider crucial in the fight against racism?
- Are there any elements not covered by the proposal?
Questions of local and regional relevance
- The Commission wants to improve the collection of equality data. Is data disaggregated by racial or ethnic origin collected in your municipality or region? If so, in what areas?
- In your municipality/region, are there any conditions attached concerning racial or ethnic discrimination when it comes to access to EU funds?
- Does your municipality or region have specific policy guidelines regarding racial or ethnic discrimination in relation to the delivery of public services?
- Are there any specific guidelines for policing and protection in your municipality/region?
- Is there an action plan against racism in your country? If yes, what is the involvement of local and regional authorities?