The European Commission welcomed on 1st
of June the decision by the Council and Parliament to designate 2007 as
'European Year of Equal Opportunities for All'.
The year will aim to make
Europeans aware of their right not to be discriminated against, to promote
equal opportunities in areas from work to healthcare, and to show how diversity
makes the EU stronger. The year will have four themes: rights, representation,
recognition and respect, with a total budget of €15million for the 12 months'
have a right to enjoy equal treatment and a life free of discrimination. The
European Year of Equal Opportunities for All in 2007 aims to ensure they all
know this,' said Vladimír Špidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social
Affairs and Equal Opportunities.' 'For a whole year, we will be putting the
spotlight on equal opportunities and the benefits for Europe
of a diverse society. Too many talents in Europe
are poorly utilized and we can't afford it'
2007 European year will focus on discrimination linked to gender, race or
ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. These
are all discrimination grounds that can be addressed within EU law.
year's budget will be spent on, inter alia, an EU-wide information campaign,
new Eurobarometer surveys on discrimination and attitudes towards it, as well
as hundreds of national initiatives such writing competitions for schools on
the theme of respect and tolerance or prizes for companies with the most
effective diversity training. There will also be the first ever Equality Summit
gathering together ministers, equality bodies, civil society and social
activities will be co-ordinated nationally to ensure that they take place as
locally as possible. The €7.6 million dedicated to national, local and regional
activities will be matched by co-financing from national public and private
initiative comes exactly a decade after the European Year Against Racism and
the introduction into the EC Treaty of Article 13 - allowing the EU to combat