Anti-Discrimination measures and the EU.

Essay by btacharyaUniversity, Bachelor'sB-, July 2003

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Although the Treaty of Rome, in Article 6 indirectly refers to equality and non-discrimination, there was no legal basis for the application of such basic individual rights. As the Union progressively matured through its Treaties, Regulations, Declarations and Conventions, more and more of these egalitarian rights have been introduced to build the concepts of a United Union and the 'Euro-citizen'. The EC Treaties reflect social equality principles in a number of different ways that have been applied by the ECJ and have become imprinted in case law (25). Article 12 contains a general prohibition of 'any discrimination on the grounds of nationality' and the European Parliament is a co-legislator in this field by provisions of the Amsterdam Treaty. Article 13 in the Amsterdam Treaty empowers the council to take appropriate action to combat 'discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation'. The Council has adopted two directives and two decisions based on this article (26).

The Nice Treaty empowers the Council to support Member States in such matters (27).

Historically, seeds for 'special rights as members of the Community', were sown at the Paris summit, unconnected with the economic goal (1), and rudimentary roots were seen by 'general right of residence' Directive by the Commission in 1979 (2). The IGC in 1985 made a proposal for the Treaty's Free Movement of Persons Provision (3). In 1989, the Commission proposed three separate Directives, applying to students, retired persons, and economically inactive persons more generally as long as they had sufficient financial resources and health insurance (4). There was a strong sign from the European Commission and Parliament that the Union should have more political unity in areas of social, foreign and security (5). Finally, the Treaty on European Union at Maastricht was signed to...