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The action programme

The action programme is designed to promote measures to prevent and combat discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

The programme has three main objectives:

  1. Analysis and evaluation: to improve understanding of the issues related to discrimination through improved knowledge gained from evaluation and analysis of the effectiveness of policies and practice

  2. Capacity-building: to develop the capacity to prevent and address discrimination effectively, in particular by strengthening organisations' means of action and through support for the exchange of information and good practice and networking at European level, while taking into account the specific characteristics of the different forms of discrimination

  3. Awareness raising — to promote and disseminate the values and practices underlying the fight against discrimination, through the use of awareness raising campaigns

The development of transnational actions with key actors in the member states is one part of the programme and the commission has set aside a budget to fund projects which develop transnational actions.

Developing transnational actions

The general objective of transnational actions is to support and complement member states and community efforts to promote measures for preventing and combating discrimination notably by reinforcing the capacity building of organisations.

The projects must focus on discrimination in specified areas in at least two member states. The commission's priority areas are:

  • Non-discrimination within and by public authorities (with special emphasis on health and education)

  • Non-discrimination within and by the media

  • Equal participation in and access to political, economic and social decision-making

  • Access to and provision of goods services offered to the public

The project must cover at least two of the following areas of discrimination: race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation. It is expected that gender discrimination will be mainstreamed into all projects.

The commission is particularly interested in finding out if it is possible to transfer expertise in one area of discrimination to another, for example does the under-representation of women in the trade unions raise similar issues to the under-representation of ethnic minority groups in the unions.

It may be possible to focus on a single ground of discrimination but only where there are exceptional circumstances, for example mobility issues for disabled persons where there is no comparison with other grounds of discrimination.

A project must be clearly defined, focusing, for example, on school exclusions rather than discrimination within the education sector. It must demonstrate that there is discrimination (as defined by the directive), identify any gaps left by the directives, and explore the methods for providing legal protection which may go beyond the scope of the directive.

The applicant organisation must be a non-profit making body, either a public authority, NGO, social partner, university or research institute, and it must have at least one core partner from another member state involved in the project. The partner can be either a profit making or non-profit making body.

Further details are available from the European and social affairs directorate.

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