Our annual report for 2018 allows us to look back at our work during the past year and showcase the broad spectrum of support to national equality bodies and the collective efforts made to promote equality across Europe.
A significant achievement for equality bodies in 2018 was the publication of new European Standards for equality bodies by the European Commission and the Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) respectively. These key advancements were made in response to the persisting challenges and increasing threats to public institutions defending equality across Europe. Having long called for standards for equality bodies, Equinet will now closely monitor the implementation of these standards to ensure they are duly considered and respected.
Throughout the year we explored a number of important issues with our members: how to tackle discrimination against young people, countering ethnic profiling, dealing withwork-life balance and dismissal protection and combatting hate speech, based on racism, sexism, or any other grounds of discrimination. We looked at how to engage with the UNCRPD and Article 33(2), how equality bodies carry out research and data collection and how they can best contribute to facilitating freedom of movementas Article 4 bodies under the 2014 EU Directive.
We contributed to the European equality agenda through our discussions on investing in equality and on combatting poverty by considering socio-economic status as a ground of discrimination. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the proposal of the Horizontal Directive, we shone a light on the important reasons to finally adopt and implement the Directive.
During 2018, we took stock of our past achievements, sought to assess relevance, impact and lessons learned and tried to anticipate our future needs. We also took into account the increasingly challenging political, demographic and digital environment across Europe, where enhancing the role of equality bodies as key champions for equality is more crucial than ever. This process led Equinet to develop a new Strategic Plan for the period 2019-2022.