A new Eurobarometer report shows that anti-discrimination legislation is still not sufficiently implemented in the EU. The Commission wants to change that with a European year dedicated to equal opportunities
Almost two thirds of Europeans think that non-whites, disabled people, gays, senior citizens, people with different religious beliefs and women are being discriminated against in their country. According to the survey, being of different ethnic origin is most likely to result in discrimination, whereas most respondents believe that women are no longer discriminated against.
At the same time, a majority of Europeans think that affirmative action should be taken to end discrimination in various fields. Between 72% and 77% said that more women were needed in management positions and in parliaments and more disabled and older people in the workplace. There was no majority, however, in favour of MPs of a different ethnic origin from the rest of the population.
The survey also showed that, throughout the EU, there is little awareness of anti-discrimination legislation. Less than a third of the population knows what rights they have when they are being discriminated against, and even fewer people know that there is legislation in force prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age and of sexual orientation.
The European Year of Equal Opportunities for All aims to inform EU citizens about this kind of legislation, thus paving the way for its wide spread application.