Equinet Chair Laurence Bond recently visited Brussels to meet with Commissioner Helena Dalli and other key stakeholders to discuss upcoming legislation on standards for equality bodies and other areas of cooperation.
In his first official visit to Brussels as Chair of the Equinet Executive Board, Laurence Bond (Director of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission) met with European stakeholders to discuss strategic activities in the field of equality, including upcoming European legislation on standards for equality bodies, as well as Equinet’s work and cooperation opportunities in 2022.
Bond’s visit to Brussels focused on the upcoming legislation on standards for equality bodies. The Equinet delegation (Laurence Bond, and Equinet Secretariat Co-Directors Anne Gaspard and Tamás Kádár) held meetings with Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equality as well as with Irena Moozova, Director for Equality and Union Citizenship (JUST.D). The Equinet delegation appreciated the chance to discuss at the highest levels of the political and technical sides of the Commission to better understand the political and technical process; to discuss with upcoming presidencies to understand their plans and needs from us; and external partners to discuss how they can support the process.
The schedule also included meetings to foster cooperation with key stakeholders. In addition to discussing plans and potential cooperation opportunities with the European Commission, the delegation also met with Birgit Van Hout (Regional Representative for Europe, UN OHCHR) and Catherine Naughton (Director, European Disability Forum). During these meetings, Bond and the Equinet team discussed not only the upcoming legislation on standards for equality bodies, but also ways to foster collaboration for the advancement of equality for all in Europe. These meetings highlighted opportunities for ongoing cooperation in various fields, from socio-economic and racial discrimination to gender equality and intersectional discrimination targeting persons with disabilities.
The Equinet delegation also met with the permanent representations from the Czech Republic and Sweden – the next two Member States to hold the EU Presidency. Legislation on standards for equality bodies was again on the agenda, as was each presidency’s plans in the field of equality and non-discrimination, providing useful insights into what’s expected in the Council of the EU as one of the co-legislators.