Equinet, as a strong, engaged and innovative network, will continue to strengthen and support equality bodies and act as their expert voice to advance equality and non-discrimination in Europe. Our goal is to enable national equality bodies to fulfil their full potential to support people experiencing discrimination and to achieve substantive equality for all. Considering the increasingly challenging political, demographic and digital environment across Europe, enhancing the role of equality bodies as key champions for equality and safeguards for non-discrimination is more crucial than ever.
Over the period of its first two strategic plans (2007-2010 and 2011-2014), Equinet – European Network of Equality Bodies grew from a membership of twenty to forty two equality bodies in thirty two countries. It has developed into a professional platform for cooperation, capacity building and peer support amongst equality bodies around issues of legal interpretation and implementation in practice of the EU equal treatment Directives and promotion of equality.
This third Strategic Plan, developed through a broad consultation process with its members and various stakeholders at the EU and international levels, will guide Equinet’s work from 2015 to 2018. The objective of this plan is for Equinet to enable equality bodies to further build capacity to deepen their independence and effectiveness, give voice to the experience, expertise, learning and insights from equality bodies and their work of implementing equal treatment legislation, and act as a hub that supports the information flows necessary to enable and empower the work of equality bodies.
The objectives of the current Equinet Strategic Plan build on the success of the previous paln for 2007-2010 and is the result of an in-depth survey of Equinet’s Members conducted in early 2010. They also take into account the evaluations of Equinet’s work over the last few years as well as discussion with key stakeholders in the context of the preparation of the Strategic Plan (including consultation with the European Commission, EU social partner organisations and civil society networks).
This Strategic Plan signals an important step for Equinet – marking a transition from a newly established network to a consolidated and anchored European Network for national Equality Bodies. Since our establishment as a legal entity in 2007, our membership has grown significantly with a larger spread and diversity of equality bodies joining our network, the number and diversity of the staff of member organisations involved in our activities have been on a steady increase and external stakeholders have consistently shown considerable interest in Equinet and its work. To sustain this growth, we need a solid basis that enables us to build on the achievements of previous years and a firm learning and networking platform that is transparent, accountable and inclusive for all its members.
This Strategic Plan represents a map and a vision that, following Members’ adoption, Equinet and its Executive Board have committed to follow and implement in the period 2011-2014. The Strategic Plan adopts a comprehensive and complementary approach with clear objectives. It sets an ambitious plan and future for Equinet based on steady growth whilst at the same time maintaining continuity with the previous work and strategic plan of Equinet of the past few years.