Date: 25 – 26 October, 2021
Time: 10:00-12:15 CET
As public institutions concerned with promoting the fundamental value of equality and combating discrimination, equality bodies have been playing an increasingly important role in the implementation of equality legislation across Europe. So far, Equinet has not explored in depth how equality and non-discrimination are conceived and implemented at the local level, such as in municipalities and cities across Europe. Instead, Equinet’s focus has been on supporting and strengthening equality bodies’ standing and work at the national and international levels. As some equality issues may be better approached at the local level, it is important that equality bodies are supported to engage there if they are not doing so already. While some equality bodies already have regional or local offices, this is far from being the case in all countries, despite being an official Recommendation of the European Commission on standards for equality bodies.
Engaging with citizens is a crucial step in making equality and non-discrimination the norm. Nobody questions any longer the role of local governance as important actors at the forefront of citizens’ fundamental rights protection. Local authorities are closest to their citizens and as such are best positioned to understand their struggles, respond effectively to their needs, and empower them to know and claim their rights. Local authorities are also well equipped to invest resources directly into capacity-building workshops aimed at tackling discrimination and promoting equality, as they work together with public employment services, schools, and other training providers.
Developing cooperation with local authorities would increase the accessibility of equality bodies, extend the influence of their work, and increase the availability of equality data at the local level. Furthermore, it would provide local authorities with additional support to strengthen their work towards an equal and non-discriminatory society. Finally, a well-functioning equality approach is about involving relevant stakeholders. Bringing together local authorities, equality bodies, and Equinet would contribute to making European anti-discrimination policies a reality at the local level, highlighting local practices applicable on a higher level and helping to build synergies between local, national, and international institutions.
Join us to discuss how European institutions, NGOs, equality bodies and local authorities can work together to making the enjoyment of equality a reality in cities across Europe.
The primary objective of this conference is to bring together equality bodies and relevant partners in order to develop cooperation and explore ways of joint action on promoting equality and tackling discrimination at the local level. In particular, the event aims to:
Session 1: Building Equal Cities – Equality and Non-Discrimination at the Local Level
25/10/2021, 10:00-12:15 CET
The first session will provide and introduction to the work of equality bodies, promoting equality and addressing discrimination at the local level. Furthermore, it will provide an overview of the EU framework and the work of EU institutions addressing inequalities on the local level. Finally, a panel session will discuss the challenges and opportunities of local level work on equality.
Session 2: Exchanging best practices and building bridges
26/10/2021, 10:00-12:15 CET
The second session will focus on the exchange of best practices and explore the ways to cooperate in addressing discrimination at the local level. It will include a round of presentations on best practices, with a particular focus on what works best in promoting equality at the local level. Furthermore, this session will offer an interactive discussion through the opening of breakout rooms, where participants will have the opportunity to discuss ways forward to work together promoting equality and fighting against discrimination at the local level.
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