ECCAR Response - EU consultation on the Racial Equality Directive

Berlin – Germany

ECCAR Response - EU consultation on the Racial Equality Directive 

ECCAR as an organisation decided to submit a response to the Commission’s consultation due to the unique knowledge base of the European Coalition of Cities Against Racism. The “Racial Equality Directive” (Directive 2000/43/EC) is crucial for establishing legal protections against racial and ethnic discrimination throughout the EU. The European Commission is to assess the Racial Equality Directive to identify any possible gaps in the EU legislation protecting people from racial and ethnic discrimination and therefore collected feedback. The initiative is a follow up on the EU anti-racism action plan 2020-2025 and the 2021 report on the application of the Racial Equality and Employment Equality Directives.

Cities are a major focus for the ongoing increase in ethnic and cultural diversity of Europe. They are the home to an ever greater number of people with migration history,  national ethnic minorities and internationals, internationals from all parts, seeking freedom, work, knowledge and opportunity. Cities are the places where the everyday meeting of differences sparks competition, clashing interests and fears that feed the development of the ideologies and practices of discrimination. Cities are also the dynamic laboratories where new forms of urban citizenship and new ways of living together are being invented. They are a key space within which to conduct a struggle against racism that facilitates effective implementation of the various instruments enacted by States.

Cities are run by local authorities who are often close to their citizens and the ongoing changes in society. They generally have a degree of autonomy, resources, support and solidarity networks. They thus have the capacity to launch brave and innovative initiatives that can be effective against racism on the ground. Local authorities, especially at city level, have a key role in mobilising forces and in implementing anti-discrimination policies that can make a real difference, even in areas that do not fall within their administrative competence. Based on these experiences and knowledge, and recognizing the importance of the Racial Equality Directive (Directive 2000/43/EC) in establishing legal protections against racial and ethnic discrimination throughout the EU, ECCAR is submitting this response to the Commission’s consultation request.

Initiated by the City of Berlin the ECCAR held a meeting on March 23rd with interested member cities to identify potential gaps and suitable measures to address those gaps. Under the guidance of its Scientific Adivsory Council member Paul Lappalainen (Swedish expert - European Equality Law Network) the ECCAR board adopted an answer.