Green Paper consultation - contribution 2004 by EuropeanUnion


									                        Green Paper
                        Unit D/3
                        DG Employment and Social Affairs
                        European Commission
                        Rue Joseph II 37, (2/23)
                        B-1049 Brussels

                                                                                                              London, 16 August 2004

             CHAIR      Dear Sir/Madam
 Dr Samir Shah OBE

                        We are writing to you on behalf of the UK Race & Europe Network in response to the Green Paper on anti-
    Lady Brittan CBE    discrimination and equal treatment.
     Barbara Cohen
     Dr Kate Gavron
          Faz Hakim
                        UKREN is a network of UK non governmental and community based organisations concerned with EU
         Clive Jones    developments in race equality and anti-discrimination policy and how they impact on UK race equality
         Hitesh Patel   policy.
  Trevor Phillips OBE
   Dr Richard Stone
      Seamus Taylor     We hope that you will consider the following points in the development of future policy around anti-
                        discrimination and equal treatment. We would like to stress at this point that the points made below
       A Company
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                        complement our questionnaire responses and the latter should be read in the light of these additional
egistered Company
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                        Implementing non-discrimination in law and in practice
                        We feel that this area should be set as an absolute priority for the European Commission over the next
 Registered Charity     few years. Whilst the adoption of the Race and Employment Directives was a great step forward towards
       No. 1063609
                        harmonised and strong anti-discrimination legislation throughout the EU, implementation of such
                        legislation across the member states has been extremely uneven. Some countries have made no moves
                        at all towards implementing the directives (i.e. Germany) whilst others have taken some steps to amend
                        their legislation but in an inconsistent and unsatisfactory way (i.e. the United Kingdom). Whilst we
                        welcome the decision by the European Commission to take legal action against 6 Member States for
                        failing to transpose the Race Directive, we would like to take this opportunity to stress the importance of
                        continued efforts to monitor, encourage and support the implementation of European anti-discrimination

                        In addition, we would encourage the European Commission to examine its own anti-discrimination
                        practices in relation to diversity. Indeed we feel that it should lead by example in the recruitment, retention
                        and promotion of staff that reflects the diversity of the European Union member states.

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Making full use of EU funding
Following on from our argument, we feel it imperative that adequate funding be provided by the EU to
monitor the impact and implementation of anti-discrimination legislation.
EU funding of anti-discrimination should operate at two levels:
- Adequate new streams of funding should be developed to tackle anti-discrimination to provide a
    continuity from the Community Action Programme coming to an end in 2006;
- Anti-discrimination and equality work should be mainstreamed in other funds as well.

An additional priority should be to simplify the bureaucratic burden placed on organisations in applying for
and satisfying the requirements of funding. This work accounts for too high a proportion of the time that
the EU is funding. It particularly places a burden on smaller NGOs, often the ones who are working most
closely with victims of discrimination, and may either exclude them from being able to apply for funding or
may require them to direct funds to and involve a partner simply to deal with the bureaucracy.

Examining immigration in the context of discrimination
Migration issues need to be examined as part of a strategy that tackles discrimination at EU level. It is
clear that economic growth in modern, open economies generates migration, and the European single
market is unlikely to be an exception to this rule. EU firms and public sector employers will require access
to global labour markets to recruit workers across the whole of the skill spectrum. Migrant workers need
transparent rules and channels facilitating movement across frontiers in order that the engagement of
dubious agents can be avoided. There also needs to be a clear sense of rights available to those who
migrate, in order that migrant workers can organise their migration with a degree of assurance that they
will not be made vulnerable to exploitation. With these elements in place it can be anticipated that the
benefits if migration will be optimised for all the parties involved.

Regrettably this approach does not enjoy support amongst any significant section of political leaders and
policy makers in the Member States at this time. On the contrary, at the level of official policy making, the
debate on migration is marked by a chronic lack of maturity and incapacity to resist the worst tendencies
towards racism and xenophobic nationalism. As a consequence we have seen the worrying rise of far
right parties across the continent, with many mainstream parties adopting policies which pander to the
anti-immigrant line.

In general we have tended to support the emergence of the EU institutions as leading elements in the
formulation of immigration and asylum policy. We hoped that the Tampere process would fulfil the
potential of the Presidency Conclusions of October 1999 and put in place a common approach based on a
positive assessment of the contribution of migration to European society, and a determination to provide
for the basic rights of immigrants and refugees. However, we share the concerns of many NGO networks
and expert commentators on the final outcome of the first state of the Tampere process, that policy
making badly lost its way during the rounds of negations over the details of draft directives.

We anticipate that a wide range of problems will appear on the record in the period immediately ahead as
common policies on asylum and family reunion issues flounder because of their lack of attention to the
positive rights of migrants, particularly given the new security considerations arising from the
consequences of 9/11 over the last 3 years. We believe that there is a pressing need for close surveillance
of the practices which are adopted in the Member States under the rubric of common policies, and for
remedial action to counter the discrimination and violation of rights we are concerned will arise. We would
therefore urge the European Commission to examine the impact of the debates around migration on
discrimination in any future strategy.
Keeping anti-racism as a central component of a strategy on anti-discrimination
Whilst the Race Directive was a great step forward, we are concerned that the fight against racism is
dropping off the agenda in a number of European institutions. In this context, the transformation of the
EUMC into a Human Rights Agency should be undertaken in full consultation throughout the EU and
should be matched with appropriate resources to ensure that it can carry out this new extended remit.
Similarly, we are concerned that the reference to condemning racism in the conclusions of each
Presidency has been removed. We therefore hope that the Commission will keep the fight against racism
as a core priority of its work and of any future strategy. Whilst we welcome an integrated approach to
tackling discrimination, we do feel it is important to acknowledge the specificity of combating racism, which
could not be addressed within a single model applied to all equality grounds.

We hope that you will take these points in consideration when examining the various responses to the
Green Paper.

Best wishes,

Sarah Isal
Research & Policy Analyst

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