Europe and North America perform better on anti-discrimination than they do in most areas of integration policy. A wide range of actors in most areas of life cannot discriminate against a person on the grounds of race, ethnicity or religion. If it’s for her nationality or multiple grounds, she has a harder – or no – chance. Generally, a victim seeking justice benefits from protections against victimisation, sharing the burden of proof, financial aid and interpreters. Equality NGOs could have stronger legal standings to represent victims, lead class actions and use situation testing.

The major areas of weakness are equality policies. States cannot guarantee that staff and service-providers are promoting equality in their daily work. Too few equality bodies have the full legal standing and independence they need to help victims.

Victims of discrimination are best protected in North America and, in Europe, in the UK, SE, BE and FR. Leaders continue to make laws easier to use and enforce. PT, RO, BG and HU are starting to use often newer legislation to its full extent. The Baltics, MT and AT have only done the minimum that the EU requires; PL and CH fall critically below these standards. The rest (CZ, DE, DK, ES) go somewhat beyond by adopting broader protections that are still ineffective because of weak equality policies. 

Best Case Add to MyPdf 

This is a composite of national policies found in May 2010 in at least one of the 31 countries.

All residents, whatever their background, can fight discrimination and benefit from equal opportunities. Anyone in the country can bring forward a case against all forms of discrimination, as well as racial profiling and incitements to hatred. These are illegal in all areas of public life – from employment to education, public space, housing and social protection. A victim is empowered to seek justice because laws are well enforced and used. Independent equality bodies and NGOs help her throughout the proceedings. Courts use wide-ranging sanctions to prevent, discourage and correct discrimination. The state adopts positive duties and actions, which encourages other institutions to open up. They find the best person for the job or contract, while better reflecting the population they serve.

Worst Case Add to MyPdf 

This is a composite of national policies found in May 2010 in at least one of the 31 countries.

People are free to deny opportunities to someone, purely because of his race, religion and nationality. A victim has to bring forward a case in court, without legal aid, interpreters or the support of an NGO. To prove discrimination, he has to carry the burden of proof throughout. If he is not discouraged by the lengthy procedure, he is by the purely symbolic sanctions. Around him, he sees no government action to promote equality. He cannot be helped by weak equality bodies that government created and controls.

Changes & Trends Add to MyPdf 

Integration policy significantly and consistently improves when countries improve discrimination and equality policies. Here, Europe made its greatest gains. Before landmark EU legislation was passed in 2000, only 6 EU countries had dedicated anti-racism laws. Since then, all have had to catch up – on all 4 MIPEX dimensions. The greatest progress was in new countries of immigration and Central Europe. MIPEX II observed this in DE, GR, LU, SI, and MIPEX III in EE (+14) and CZ (+24). Others make minor improvements to comply with EU law. MIPEX III saw situations improve in BE, DK, FI, FR, LT, LU, MT and PL, while case law strengthens protections (e.g. IE). Weak equality policies and decreases in funding (e.g. IE) and political will (e.g. FR) can undermine access to justice.