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Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes (YSEE)
is a member of the Greek National Group of Europe's Action
Programme to combat Discrimination.

About the campaign
As part of its Action Programme to combat Discrimination, the European Commission is running a five-year pan-European information campaign on combating discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, age, disability and sexual orientation. With the slogan "For Diversity. Against Discrimination.", the first year of the campaign will focus primarily on promoting diversity in the workplace. The campaign, which is being developed in close co-operation with EU governments, trade unions, employers' organisations and NGOs, was launched on 16th June 2003.

The campaign aims to communicate a positive message on diversity through a wide range of channels, such as TV or print adverts, website, seminars and media events. Brochures, flyers and posters will provide information about new EU rules against discrimination in the various Member States.

National information
Governments in all EU countries are taking steps to comply with the directives on equality. This is as true in countries where legislation outlawing discrimination was already fairly extensive before the directives were agreed as in those where it was more limited. Even in countries where arrangements for combating discrimination were well established, these did not meet the requirements of the directives in every respect and needed some modification. This was particularly so as regards the directive on equality in employment which outlaws discrimination on grounds of religion, age, disability and sexual orientation. While laws had been introduced in several countries to protect people with disabilities and particular religious beliefs, this was much less the case as regards age and sexual orientation. The steps taken so far vary a lot between countries. Differences in the legislation already in place and in the arrangements which exist for protecting and assisting the victims of discrimination mean the responses to the directives also differ.

New Rights and Obligations under European Anti-Discrimination Legislation

  • The Racial Equality Directive 2000/43/EC
  • The Employment Equality Directive 2000/78/EC

"The Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.principles which are common to the Member States."Article 6(1) Treaty on European Union.

The European Community has long been active in the fight against discrimination. Indeed, at the time of its creation one of its most pressing missions was to reconcile a continent divided by nationalistic and ethnic conflicts. For many years the focus was on preventing discrimination on the grounds of nationality and sex discrimination. 1997 was a major turning point when the Member States agreed to some far reaching changes to the Treaty. Following the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty, the Community was given new powers to combat discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation, and the power to combat sex discrimination was widened. In the year 2000, the Council unanimously adopted two Directives and the Community Action Programme.

Why national working groups.?
Europe is a diverse place with specific problems that require individual answers. In each country very different concerns are part of the public space and a different level of awareness about discrimination issues influence the needs of the campaign. Certain grounds are more present in the public awareness than others. Also the level of the transposition process of the EU directives differs from country to country. In order to discuss efficient ways to evaluate the situation in each country and develop concrete activities the national working groups as national experts were asked to examine and comment on the national situation. In such way the information campaign ensures that specific needs are taken seriously and measures are adequately implemented. Additionally it allows stakeholders to have a positive impact on the campaign so that they can identify with the concept and support implementation.

- more information can be found here http://stop-discrimination.info/

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