Equinet’s latest publication “Informing the Policy Agenda: Equality Bodies Making Recommendations” addresses the policy advice function of Equality Bodies, informing peer learning among Equality Bodies on effective strategies and practices in this.
In 2014, Equinet issued a guide for Equality Bodies, aiming to provide actionable insights for formulating impactful recommendations on equality and non-discrimination to policymakers. The guide emphasized key elements, including thorough research, evidence-backed arguments, and collaboration with policymakers. It identified obstacles such as a lack of political will, limited interest, and resource shortages. Crucial tools for the recommendation process were outlined, spanning publications, comments on legislative acts, case-based recommendations, media engagement, and formal communications. The guide remains pertinent in addressing challenges and fostering effective recommendations, essential for shaping legislative and policy changes in the pursuit of equality.
This current perspective, timely in its focus, delves into the powers afforded to Equality Bodies and their role in providing recommendations to policymakers and legislators, scrutinizing the functions from an equality and non-discrimination standpoint concerning legislation, policy, and policy-making systems. This focus gains particular significance in light of the proposed Directives by the European Commission, which stipulate standards for Equality Bodies, with Article 13 mandating Member States to establish ‘transparent procedures’ ensuring consultation with Equality Bodies on various matters, along with the ability for these bodies to make, publish, and request feedback on recommendations. The perspective has been crafted within this policy framework to contribute to models of good practice in implementing Article 13, shaping provisions, and serve as a basis for establishing common indicators for the making of recommendations to policymakers and legislators. Furthermore, it responds to the interest among Equality Bodies to delve deeper into their role in providing policy advice, serving as a hub for peer learning and strategy development in their approach to making recommendations.