Members' Research Service By / May 12, 2023

Standards for equality bodies: Equal treatment between women and men in employment (ordinary legislative procedure) [EU Legislation in Progress]

The fight against discrimination is an area where, historically, the EU has made a difference.

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Written by Ionel Zamfir (2nd edition, updated on 26.09.2023).

Several EU directives dealing with equality require EU Member States to establish equality bodies with a focus on assisting victims of discrimination and preventing and fighting discrimination on the grounds listed under the directives. However, their rules are general and have no precise definition of these bodies’ duties and manner of operation, thus leading to disparities among the Member States’ bodies. Additionally, the work of some Member States’ bodies has been hampered by lack of resources, insufficient independence or a narrow remit. In December 2022, the European Commission published a proposal, under the ordinary legislative procedure, setting standards for equality bodies involved in fighting discrimination between men and women in the area of employment, in parallel with another proposal fighting discrimination on other grounds, under the consent procedure. The proposal reinforces the equality bodies’ independence, resources and mandate. While generally welcoming it, stakeholders have suggested specific changes to its provisions.


Proposal for a directive on standards for equality bodies in the field of equal treatment and equal opportunities between women and men in matters of employment and occupation, and deleting Article 20 of Directive 2006/54/EC and Article 11 of Directive 2010/41/EU
Committee responsible:Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and ‘Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) (jointly under Rule 58)COM(2022) 688
Co- rapporteurs:Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, Finland)
Marc Angel (S&D, Luxembourg)
Shadow rapporteurs:Rosa Estaràs Ferragut (EPP, Spain); Carina Ohlsson (S&D, Sweden); Max Orville (Renew, France); Irène Tolleret (Renew, France); Romeo Franz (Greens/EFA, Germany); Kira Marie Peter-Hansen (Greens/EFA, Denmark); Margarita de la Pisa Carrión (ECR, Spain); Guido Reil (ID, Germany); José Gusmão (The Left, Portugal); Eugenia Rodríguez Palop (The Left, Spain)Ordinary legislative procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council on equal footing
– formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Vote in joint committee on draft report
Stage: Draft report

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