The latest publication of the European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination, “Equality bodies making a difference”, focuses on the important work of equality bodies, looking at the diversity, potential and context of equality bodies, and then focusing on different aspects of standards for equality bodies, such as institutional architecture, independence, effectiveness and accessibility. The impact of equality bodies on society is also addressed, as well as proposals for useful measures at EU, national and equality body level.
This report explores the current context, institutional mandate and structure, operation, and impact of equality bodies across the 28 EU Member States and the EFTA countries. It aims to establish, assess, draw conclusions and make recommendations on:
- The nature and quality of the conditions created by the State for equality bodies to implement their mandate independently and effectively; and
- The nature and quality of the conditions created internally by the equality bodies themselves to maximise their potential.
The report first sets out a range of foundations for the subsequent analysis developed. It thus defines equality bodies, establishes their diversity, sets out their potential and sets out some elements of the context they work in. The report then proceeds to briefly describe the various international standards established for equality bodies. These provide a template against which to assess the conditions created for and by equality bodies to realise their potential.
The report explores and assesses the institutional architecture of equality bodies in the EU and the EFTA countries in terms of mandate, function and grounds. It examines the conditions created, externally and internally, for their independence, effectiveness, and accessibility. It explores their contribution to change and the impact they have made.
Finally, the report draws conclusions on the conditions created for and by equality bodies to realise their full potential and makes recommendations in this regard.
Equinet and its member equality bodies are referenced throughout the publication.
The text of this report was drafted by Niall Crowley, coordinated by Catharina Germaine and Isabelle Chopin for the European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination.