Commissioner Dalli speaks at ‘Equality 2020′ conference marking the 20th anniversary of the Race Equality Directive

©European Union, 2021, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service©European Union, 2021, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service

Today, Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, participated in the ‘Equality 2020′ conference, marking the adoption of the Race Equality Directive 20 years ago. The Directive, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of race and ethnic origin, is one of the building blocks of EU’s efforts to fight discrimination in Europe. Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality, said: “Over the past 20 years, equality bodies in the EU, equipped with robust legal tools have boosted equality across Europe, triggering positive changes at societal, institutional and individual levels. But recent events, such as the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests, show that big challenges remain deeply rooted in Europe. Today, our main goal is to strengthen the adequate application of the Race Equality Directive and to ensure that equality bodies are well equipped to perform their tasks independently, effectively and efficiently.” The Conference co-hosted by the European Commission, the Council, the Croatian Presidency of the EU and the European Network of Equality bodies ‘EQUINET’ will bring together representatives from Member States, equality bodies, and civil society to discuss the future of equality in Europe. The EU has a strong legal framework in place to fight racism, including the Race Equality Directive and the Framework Decision on combatting racism and xenophobia. However, as pointed out by President von der Leyen in her speech in the European Parliament on 17 June, the EU needs to do more, as there is a need to talk about racism – openly and honestly. In this context, last week, the College of Commissioners held a structured debate ‘Against Racism and For More Diversity and Equality in the European Union’. During the debate, the College explored various potential avenues for action, with concrete actions to be announced in autumn. More information on the conference as well as the closing remarks by Commissioner Dalli are available online.