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35. Intercultural dialogue and diversity within the EU

Document in PDF: [klik hier]  
Published in Eurolimes, Journal of the Institute for Euroregional Studies Oradea - Debrecen, "Jean Monnet" European Centre of Excellence, , vol. 6, autumn 2008, pp.101-112. See: [klik hier] 
This is an updated version of a paper presented at the Seminar on European Parliament to Campus for Intercultural Dialogue and the European Neighbourhood Policy in the Carpathian Area (4 – 11 June 2008). 
1. Introduction 
In 2006, the European Union decided to promote intercultural dialogue. In Council Decision (No 1983/2006/EC) which allocated 10 million Euros for activities in 2008 - the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue - we can read the motivation. Such a dialogue will give a boost to the value of diversity and strengthen respect for different cultural identities and beliefs which co-exist within the member states, between the member states and beyond. Highlighting diversity by intercultural dialogue will safeguard the common heritage of Europe and the member states and will help making people living within the EU better prepared to participate in an increasingly more diverse, more dynamic and more complex world. 
But why should diversity in itself be something worthwhile, something that should be respected? What exactly is meant by this concept? To what extent is diversity a key value or a principle of the European Union itself and how is it reflected in the organisational structure and the policies decided by the EU? In addition, could a dialogue indeed help to safeguard diversity, or are other means perhaps more effective? 
The purpose of this paper is to find an answer to this type of questions and thereby contribute to separating facts from fiction. 
2. Diversity among the member states 
‘United in diversity’ is the motto of the European Union. At the website of the European Commission we can read: ‘The motto means that, via the EU, Europeans are united in working together for peace and prosperity, and that the many different cultures, traditions and languages in Europe are a positive asset for the continent’.[1]  
We might ask whether this is merely window-dressing or innocent propaganda, or whether we can find behind this motto some real problems. One small indication that this concept of diversity in the EU is not that innocent is to be found in the controversy on the incorporation of this motto (and other symbols such as the flag and the hymn) in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (TCE), as decided by the European Council in 2004. In art. I -8 TCE we find: ‘The motto of the European Union shall be: ‘United in diversity’’. 
As you will remember, this so-called European Constitution was stowed away, after two member states, France and The Netherlands, decided by referendum to reject it. The substance of the European Constitution - or at least 95 percent of it - miraculously came back in another form in the so-called Reform Treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon. In these new draft texts for the Treaties of the European Union we do not find the motto ‘United in diversity’ anymore; they have been deleted, together with the other symbols. But in a Declaration to be annexed to the new treaties, 16 member states stated that these symbols ‘will for them continue […] to express the sense of community of the people in the European Union and their allegiance to it.’[2] 
The transformation of the European Constitution into the so-called Reform Treaty has much of a trompe-d’oeil , an optical illusion. It will give employment to generations of legal scholars, political scientists and the like to sort out the mess made by politicians. This is too much and too complicated for this paper (see e.g. De Búrca 2008; Kurpas 2007). I will – more simply - try to find out what is the meaning of cultural diversity in the EU and which role is played by diversity as a political principle.  
Cultural diversity appeared on stage as the argument of the weak. It is the slogan of smaller groups living in a greater unit, wanting to preserve themselves and protect their identity. 
But it is more than the self-interest of so-called minorities, it is also a concern of everyone, also of the majority. So, how to look at it, depends from the perspective we take. Politically speaking, it can be used for very different purposes (Von Bogdandy 2007). The concept of cultural diversity can be used to emphasise national identity or distinctiveness, as is done by right-wing populist movements that use slogans such as ‘Our own people first’ or – to take an example from my own country - ‘Proud on Holland’. Cultural diversity can however also be used to promote cultural pluralism or multi-culturalism, thereby questioning national identity and giving more prominence to other traits or identities of people, be it religious, ethnical, cultural or whatever. 
Historically, the European Union has been mostly concerned with cultural diversity in the sense of the diversity of the national cultures of the member states. Remarkably, for this purpose these cultures were seen as homogenous. This cultural diversity came increasingly under threat – so it was feared - with the completion of the single market. The ‘ever closer Union’ (TEU, art. 1) was feared to bring more convergence and standardisation. This explains why the Treaty of Maastricht brought us what now is Article 6(3) TEU as a sort of invocation: ‘The Union shall respect the national identities of its member states’. I call this an invocation – one could also say: a motto – because in my view it is nothing new; it is only to be understood as an extra emphasis on what is already there. Lawyers understand this provision as a legal guarantee of the sovereignty of the member states. The member states remain ‘the masters of the treaties’, they stay in control over the limits of the integration process (Barents 1997:30). 
It is often been said, that the European Union is an international organisation ‘sui generis’. It does not belong to the category of purely intergovernmental international organisations, neither is it a political federation, let alone a federal state. It is something in between. Its construction is a balance between federal elements on the one hand, and ‘national sovereignty’ elements on the other. The national identity of the member states is protected by a couple of elements in its structure and in the decision-making processes. I mention here the most important ones. 
The principle of conferral (or competence attribution). The EU can only exercise those competences explicitly conferred upon it by the member states. These competences are enumerated in the treaties. (TCE, Article I-9; TEU [new consolidated version] Article 5).  
Revision of the Treaties demands the agreement of all member states (TEU, Art. 48).  
Although the powers of the European Parliament have been enlarged by every major revision of the Treaties, the Council, i.e. the member states, still have the most important say in the political life of the Union. This element has been strengthened by the draft European Constitution and by the Treaty of Lisbon, inter alia by adding the right of the member states that wish to do so to leave the Union, and by giving the national parliaments an independent role in the EU decision-making processes. (cf. European Parliament resolution 2008).  
Within the Council, the voting procedures prevent a permanent alliance of strong member states against weaker ones.  
The political machinery of the EU is multi-centered, complex and fragmented; this gives opportunities to many political entrepreneurs inside and from outside the system and prevents overall domination from above by one single authority. (Richardson 1996, Van Schendelen 2002).  
The principle of mutual recognition: in the market for goods, services and capital technical standards originating in the home country of these goods et cetera also apply when those goods cross borders and move into another EU member state, provided equivalent levels of protection and safety are guaranteed. In this way, harmonisation from above is not necessary. (See e.g. Padoa-Schioppa 2005).  
The languages regime: all official documents are translated in all recognised national languages spoken in the member states, and so is every oral intervention in the formal sessions of the Council and European Parliament.  
In short: the European Union is not becoming a ‘super state’ but ‘is struggling to find a balance between the whole and the parts, between unity and diversity, coordination and autonomy. It is contested how much unity and how much diversity the Union can live with. Yet, in spite of uncertainty and disagreement, the Union’s system of governance has changed into a consistent direction’(Olsen 2007: 44-5). The EU has continually attracted new members, its agenda has expanded and its institutional capabilities have been enhanced.  
In this historical process, intercultural dialogue between the representatives of the member states - politicians, diplomats and civil servants, but also experts, business people, professionals, NGO’s and lobby groups – has been essential. Without thousands of people from different European countries meeting every day trying to solve concrete issues and working to find a common ground despite their diversity, the development of the EU would hardly have been thinkable. Political scientists speak of the EU as a political arena, a place where political battles are won and lost. (e.g. Van Schendelen 2002). Such a war-like analogy should not mislead us. Convincing other people is an important element of the art of politicking. Convincing somebody or winning over somebody to a new idea will never work if we do not first understand him or her. In this sense, I think, intercultural dialogue is at the heart of the political process of the European Union. The political mechanisms in and around the EU build a multitude of venues for this intercultural political dialogue. The European Parliament as the only directly elected European forum can be said to be the centre of this intercultural political dialogue. In this sense, the European Parliament is essentially different from parliaments in most member states. However, in the European Parliament the internal cohesion of the political groups is much stronger than national divisions and has got stronger over time. MEPs vote predominantly along partisan rather than national lines (Corbett c.s. 2007:108; Judge & Earnshaw 2003:155). In the end, the European political dialogue is much more about how to strike a balance between a diversity of political ideas and policy options, than about the diversity of national identities or origins. 
3. Diversity within the member states 
Diversity within the member states is another story. There is no explicit EU competence on the minority policies of the member states. An overall EU concept of how EU member states are supposed to deal with their internal minorities and how to manage cultural diversity within their territories is at this moment still a bridge too far. Such an EU policy with respect to diversity within the member states would run counter the wish to preserve the diversity between the member states, in as far as they have different ideas and practices with respect to this issue. Managing diversity in both senses at the same time seems like trying to square the circle (Toggenburg 2004c). 
This problem was not unknown when in the early nineties of the last century the 12 to 15 Western member states of the EU decided to demand proper minority policies from the applicant countries in Central and Eastern Europe. At the Summit at Copenhagen in 1993, the European Council decided that the accession states should have ‘achieved stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities […]’. This concern for minority rights had a strong political motivation: The EU15 feared a ‘risk import’ caused by ethnic and social tensions in the accession states that could undermine the security and the stability of the European Union after enlargement (Toggenburg 2004c:7). This fear was no doubt heavily influenced by the falling apart and the civil wars in former Yugoslavia (Williams 2004:68ff). 
The EU at that time lacked a clear set of norms and standards stating what this ‘respect for and protection of minorities’ would entail. The EU monitoring process of minority policies of the accession states leaned heavily on standards developed by the Council of Europe and – to a lesser extent – recommendations from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The Council of Europe adopted the new Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCPN) in 1995; it entered into force 1998. Ratification and implementation of this Framework Convention became the main condition to be met for the fulfilment of the Copenhagen criteria with regard to the protection of minorities. Recommendations from the OSCE and interventions by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities also played a role. Working through these three international organisations – the EU, the Council of Europe and the OSCE - the governments of Western European countries developed a system of ‘diversity governance’ for the countries in Central and Eastern Europe (Von Bogdandy 2007). But diversity governance lacked a firm foundation in EU law. Moreover, the policies in the ‘old’ member states ranged ‘from elaborate constitutional and legal means for minority protection and political participation to constitutional unitarism and outright denial that national minorities exist’ (Sasse 2004:65). These policies of the ‘old’ member states were not taken on board in this monitoring exercise. This is the notorious double standard, which many observers have noted. It is not only a double standard in a legal sense, but also in a political sense. The EU had never taken a political stance regarding the minority problems of the (old) member states; the case of Northern Ireland , the situation in the Basque country or the language issue in Belgium had never been a topic on the EU agenda. 
The Copenhagen criteria and the accompanying monitoring process have brought considerable legal and institutional changes in the acceding states. But whether these resulted in real effective minority protection depended largely on the domestic political agenda (Sasse 2004). In many cases the political will to deliver more than lip service was lacking. Governments of the candidate states thought ‘more in terms of closing chapters, not solving problems’ (Open Society Institute 2002:17). The process of Eastern Enlargement of the European Union has raised the awareness on the situation of minorities and the issue of diversity in Europe. But this policy of ‘conditionality’ had - and still has , in the case of new accession states and potential accession states - serious flaws that hamper its political potential. The credibility of the exercise was undermined because substantive common EU standards were lacking and existing member states themselves adhere to different views on minorities policies. 
In my view, the problem sketched above is caused by the two-sided nature by the issue of diversity. Diversity is both about individual rights and about group rights, the latter being much more controversial than the former. Firstly, measures against discrimination are taken to ensure that individuals are not treated differently from others for unjustifiable reasons. Secondly, minority protection measures allow individuals and communities to preserve their cultural identity and protect them from forced assimilation (Open Society Institute 2001:16). This second sort of rights is about the use of languages, education and even forms of political or territorial autonomy. 
Non-discrimination as an individual human right is not contested in the EU; that is in principle; in reality, some ground of discrimination are taken more seriously than others and the modalities of legislation can arouse heated political debate. But minority protection as a group right is more difficult. It is mainly applied to the so called ‘traditional’ national minorities, but there are at least two problems here. First, there is a hierarchy of minorities; some member states recognise some of their ethnic minorities and disregard others (EU Network 2005:10-11). Secondly, most EU member states hesitate to apply the concept of minority protection to immigrants that have recently come to their countries. This can be for a dogmatic reason, such as in France were the constitutional unity of the republic[3] forbids to make a distinction between one citizen and another. The reason can also be a political one; in this view the foreign workers and their families (coming from countries like Morocco and Turkey) who have settled in EU member states since the nineteen seventies, could better be helped to integrate in the countries where they have taken residence and where they are supposed to stay, instead of being permanently marginalized in a minority identity. 
4. New developments  
When Eastern Enlargement of the EU became a fact in 2004, many interested scholars and organisation pleaded for the development of comprehensive EU minority policies that would be binding for old and new member states alike (OSI, 2001; 2002; The Bolzano/Bozen Declaration, in Toggenburg 2004b). Some authors (e.g. Von Bogdandy 2007:40) even saw a prospect that Western European States would have to accept that the Copenhagen criteria would ‘backfire’ on them, that they would have to accommodate to a notion of democracy that a gives greater prominence to minority protection. Others were less certain and predicted that another option would also be feasible, i.e. ‘a new tacit policy of consensus on inaction’ (Sasse 2004:79), or ‘a status quo scenario’ (De Witte 2004:104) where EU law and policy would remain unchanged and minority protection would be left to the member states. 
In reality something in between these two options has happened. In my view, two development have to be noted.  
From multi-culturalism to integration 
Firstly, in consequence of the arrival of new immigrants into EU member states, the EU minority discourse has changed from multi-culturalism to integration. In June 2007, the Council adopted ‘conclusions on the strengthening of integration policies in the EU by promoting unity in diversity’. These conclusions underline that ‘migrants who aim to stay 
permanently or for the long term should make a deliberate effort to integrate, in particular 
learning the language of their host society, and understanding the basic values of the 
European Union.’(Council conclusions, 12-13 June 2007). In such a vision there is less room for minority protection in the sense of safeguarding traditional identities and cultures and more emphasis is put on adherence to universal human rights principles. It is observed that intercultural dialogue has become an important instrument in fostering successful integration. 
A much more elaborated version of this discourse is to be found in the recently published White Paper in Intercultural Dialogue of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. All this is soft law. But we also find a similar tendency in the (EU) Directive on Long Term Residents, which says (in article 5.2) that ‘Member States may require third-country nationals to comply with integration conditions, in accordance with national law’. Peers (2004:60) observes that ‘there is noting in de Directive that aims to preserve difference’ and identifies here a conflict with international norms, such as art. 27 ICCPR and the Framework Convention of the Council of Europe. Toggenburg (2005:731) however argues that ‘it is exactly this issue of identity preservation which prevents states from accepting new minorities as addressees of international minority law’.  
From group rights to individual rights 
Secondly, law and policies of the Union with regard to minorities have changed, mainly in the sense that the protection of individuals from discrimination has been strengthened. In other words, the minority discourse of the EU, which in the Copenhagen criteria had a strong collective undertone (‘respect for and protection of minorities’), has been adjusted into an individual rights-based approach.  
We can now enumerate quite some additions to the European acquis there are relevant for minority protections in the sense of protection against discrimination. 
Articles 13 added to the TEC by the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) widened EU competence to combat discrimination to include five new grounds for discrimination: racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation.  
In June 2000, the Directive against Race Discrimination was adopted (Council Directive 2000/42/EC). A second Directive, which dealt with discrimination on the basis of religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation, was adopted a few months later, in October 2000 (Council Directive 2000/78/43). Nobody wanted to give the impression that these other types of discrimination were considered as less important than racial discrimination. This does not mean that such an imbalance was absent. That imbalance was - and still is - contained in these legal texts themselves. (For an elaborate analysis, see e.g. Ellis 2005). EU legislation offers the most elaborate protection against racial discrimination. The scope of this legislation covers employment, social security, social protection, heath care, social advantages, education and access to goods and services, including housing. EU sex equality legislation now covers not only employment but also the access to goods and services. The other ‘new’ grounds for discrimination (religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation) are only covered by the prohibition of discrimination at the labour market. This situation is often called the ‘equality hierarchy’. EU anti-discrimination law discriminates between the various grounds of discrimination (Swiebel 2004a). For a quick overview see Annex 1. I will come back to the ambiguity below.  
In 2007, political agreement was reached on Framework Decision on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law, which will oblige member states to make public incitement to racial hatred into a criminal offence.  
The EU Charter on Fundamental Rights has confirmed, strengthened and widened the principles of non-discrimination and minority protection in artt. 21 and 22.[4]  
Both the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe and the Lisbon Reform Treaty have added ‘the rights of persons belonging to minorities’ to the articles which cites the values on which the Union is founded.[5] And both Treaties include now among the objectives of the Union, that it ‘shall respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity, and shall ensure that Europe"s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced’.[6] There is, however, still no self-standing EU competence in the area of minority policies.  
In 2000 an early warning procedure has been added to Art. 7 TEU on countries where a ‘serious and persistent’ breach of the values of the Union takes place. The Council can now also take measures if ‘a clear risk’ of such a serious breach takes place. So far this article has remained an empty letter.  
The newly established Fundamental Rights Agency, build on the EUMC, has been given very limited tasks and scope. It can and will however deal with racism and discrimination in a broad sense, and with asylum, immigration and integration of migrants (Council regulation (EC)168/2007; Council decision 2008/203/EC)  
5. EU doublespeak 
This list makes clear a couple of things. First, references to group rights are vague and lack a concrete obligation (‘shall respect’). Second, serious EU monitoring of the human rights performance in the member states still is a bridge too far. Third, art. 2 of the new TEU, together with art. 49 on the application and accession procedures for new member states, can be seen as the codification of the Copenhagen criteria. Does this mean that the notorious double standard is repaired? Everything is there’(see footnote 5): democracy, the rule of law, human rights and minorities. But no longer is ‘respect for and protection of’ minorities one of the conditions for membership of the EU, but ‘respect for [….] the rights of persons belonging to minorities’. And still there is no stand alone competence on minorities in EU primary law. 
Politically speaking, my conclusion is the following: in order to overcome the disparity between what the EU demands from its future member states (and its European Neighbourhood partners) and what is demanded from the member states themselves, we have to make do with what we have. We have to cherish our jewel in the crown, i.e. Article 13 TEC and the anti-discrimination legislation and action programmes which are based on it.  
Looking back at the accession process of the nineties, one might say that it would have been much more simple and powerful, if - in stead of demanding from the applicant countries ‘respect for and protection of minorities’ - the European Council had asked to ban all forms of discrimination in all walks of life (for a similar argument, see Williams 2004:67). Such a demand could have a sound base in the Treaties and form part of the acquis communautaire. 
In reality, the existing patchwork of EU anti discrimination legislation is skewed and incomplete. As I said above, EU anti-discrimination law itself discriminates between the various grounds of discrimination. This situation is often called the ‘equality hierarchy’ (See Annex 1). As a result, different groups enjoy a different standard of legal protection against discrimination. Such a hierarchy of discrimination sends the wrong political message, i.e. that some animals are more equal than others. In other words, it seems to confirm that some types of discrimination are inherently more serious than others. In addition, it has created a hotchpotch of rules which deteriorates not only the quality of legislation and the administration of justice but also hampers its transparency for citizens. It also lacks an answer to the reality of multiple discriminations.  
Since 2000, the European Parliament and NGO’s repeatedly criticised this state of affairs and urged for a comprehensive anti-discrimination policy that affords an equal degree of protection from discrimination on different grounds. It is no coincidence that the ground of ‘sexual orientation’ turned out to be among the most controversial aspects of this question. After the EP debate on the confirmation hearings of the members of the incoming European Commission, in 2004, the designated Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, Mr. Buttiglione, had to be withdrawn and replaced by another candidate, as his views on equality for homosexuals and gender equality were not acceptable to a majority of the Parliament. In this context, the President-elect of the European Commission, Mr. Barroso, wanted to reassure the Parliament that equality and non-discrimination really topped the Commission’s agenda; he promised to table a new broad directive covering all non-discrimination grounds, which the Parliament had been asking for so long.[7] High hopes were nourished when this promise was formally repeated in the Annual Policy Strategy for 2008.[8] But the Commission fell short of these expectations when some weeks ago it became clear that the new legislation the Commission is preparing prohibiting discrimination outside the labour market will only cover disability, and will leave out the other discrimination grounds, religion or belief, age and sexual orientation.[9] In the meantime legal professionals and lobby groups have expressed their concerns and started petitions.[10] 
What is at stake is not only the effectiveness and the coherence of the EU anti-discrimination legislation, but also in a wider sense the credibility of the European Union. The infamous double standard, that became notorious during the eastern enlargement of the EU in the nineties, is now coming back in another form. How can the EU be taken seriously, if it promotes an intercultural dialogue to foster the respect, tolerance and diversity, and at the same time continues to discriminate along the different non-discrimination grounds? 
We have to realise that not only fighting discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation is a controversial issue in the EU. European legislation now does not cover discrimination outside the labour market on the grounds of religion or belief. The campaign for intercultural dialogue looks innocent but can become dangerously silly.  
The EU should practice what it preaches. But in reality, the EU is addicted to doublespeak (For elaborate analysis of this phenomenon, see Williams 2004). A few examples:  
In the latest progress report on enlargement, which describe the state of play in the candidate countries and potential candidate countries on the Balkans and in Turkey, we read that these countries are being monitored regarding the progress made in the implementation of human rights standards and in the protection of minorities. We can read criticisms that several of these countries have not adopted a comprehensive anti-discrimination law or lack coherent anti-discrimination strategies.[11]  
In the EU Annual Human Rights Report 2007, (as in the previous reports) reports which deal with the human rights aspects in the external policies of the EU, we find several times the commitment of the EU to fight ‘all types of discrimination’.  
In the latest policy statement on the EU development aid policies (The European Consensus on Development) we can read that the Community aims to prevent social exclusion and to combat discrimination against all groups.  
The documents of the European Neighbourhood Strategy are less detailed on combating discrimination, but also here we find the intention of the European Commission ‘to continue to promote stability notably through the sustained promotion of democracy, human rights and the rule of law throughout the neighbourhood’.[12]  
6. Conclusion 
The EU intercultural dialogue designed to foster respect, tolerance and diversity can raise awareness in the member states, among groups in civil society et cetera. But it is rather incomplete and contradictory if it is not supplemented by a political dialogue about repairing the conspicuous omissions in the European anti-discrimination legislation. Monitoring full and timely implementation by the member states is of course the other side of the coin. 
During the process of Eastern Enlargement of the EU in the nineties, the EU was sometimes heavily criticized for its double standard. The EU asked the acceding states to show ‘respect for and protection of minorities’ as a condition for membership, but did not put the old member states along the same yardstick. Human rights conditionality seems to be an issue for partners abroad, not of EU member states. A serious comprehensive anti-discrimination policy which treats different forms of discrimination alike is a minimum condition for beginning to restore the credibility of the European Union. Ten years ago, a so-called Comité des Sages said there was ‘[…] an urgent need for a human rights policy which is coherent, balanced, substantive and professional’ (Leading by example 1998). This recommendation has not lost its political urgency. 
Barents, R. 1997, Het Verdrag van Amsterdam, Kluwer, Deventer. 
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[orig. 1998] in The European Union and Human Rights, eds. Alston, Ph, Bustelo, M. & Heenan, J., Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999, pp. 921-7; 
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Council Regulation (EC) No. 168/2007 of 15 February 2007 establishing a European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, OJ L 53/1-14, 22.2.2007. 
Decision No 1983/2006/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (2008). OJ L 412/44, 30.12.2006. 
European Consesus on Develeopment, Joint Statement by the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission, Council document 14820/05, Annex 1, available online at: [klik hier] 
European Council in Copenhagen, Presidency Conclusions, 21-11 June 1993, p. 14, available online at: [klik hier] 
European Parliament Resolution on the Treaty of Lisbon, adopted 20 February 2008, P6_TA- PROV(2008)0055. 
European Parliament resolution on progress made in equal opportunities and non- discrimination in the EU (the transposition of Directives 2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC), adopted 20 May 2008, P6_TA-PROV(2008)0212. 
EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights 2005, The Protection of Minorities in the European Union, Thematic Comment No. 3, available online at: [klik hier]
Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, OJ C 310/01, 16.12.2004. 
[1] [klik hier] 
[2] Final Act, OJ C 306/231, 17.12.2007, Declaration no. 52 
[3] ‘La France est une République indivisible, laïque, démocratique et sociale. Elle assure l"égalité devant la loi de tous les citoyens sans distinction d"origine, de race ou de religion. Elle respecte toutes les croyances. Son organisation est décentralisée.’ (French Constitution of 1958, art. 1) 
[4] Art. 21 has expanded the list of forbidden grounds for discrimination to include inter alia language and membership of a national minority. Art. 22 says that the Union shall respect cultural, religious and linguistic diversity. 
[5] ‘The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the 
rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. 
These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, 
tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail (TCE I-2; TEU (new consolidated version), art. 2). 
[6] Art. 3 
[7] Intervention by Mr. Barroso in the EP, 26 October 2004 (available online at: [klik hier]
[8] ‘[The Commission] will […] propose new initiatives designed to prevent and combat discrimination outside the labour market – based on gender, religion, belief, disability, age or sexual orientation’, COM(2007)65, p. 10; See also Commission Legislative and Workprogramme 2008, COM(2007)640, p. 25 
[9] ‘Brussels abandons plans to protect gays and lesbians’, EU Observer 22.04.2008, available online at: [klik hier] 
[10] For an overview of the arguments, see e.g. the Equinet Opinion ‘Beyond the Labour Market’; for an overview of the campaign see also: [klik hier] 
[11] Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2007-2008, COM(2007)663, 6.11.2007 
[12] A Strong European Neighbourhood Policy, COM(2007)774, p. 6 


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