EU raps Greece on equality

The European Commission announced yesterday that it is taking legal action against Greece and five other EU member states which have failed to incorporate into their national law two anti-discrimination directives. The Commission will refer Austria, Germany, Finland, Greece and Luxembourg to the European Court of Justice, the EU court which will hear the cases for failing to transpose two directives banning discrimination on the basis of racial or ethnic origin, age, disability, religion and sexual orientation. These were due to be incorporated into national law last year. Yesterday was the first anniversary of the deadline for transposing the Racial Equality Directive into national law, while the deadline for the Employment Framework Directive passed in December 2003. The directives were adopted in 2000 by the European Council and required legislative changes in all 25 EU member states. The countries cited yesterday have two months to reply to a Reasoned Opinion from the Commission. After that, they may be referred to the EU court.