European Anti-Discrimination Council: co-ordination and support for NGOs across the EU
Dr Stefan Prystawik, Director of the European Anti-Discrimination Council, leaving the EU Commission Building for talks with the Vice President of the EU Parliament, Dr Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann
Dr Stefan Prystawik, Director of the European Anti-Discrimination Council (eacih.org), spent Tuesday in Brussels for talks with the Vice President of the European Parliament, Dr Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, the leading German Anti-Discrimination Lawyer, Dr Klaus Michael Alenfelder as well as the EU Commission.
Prystawik explained after the strategy meetings, „ the current political situation in Germany with no anti-discrimination legislation in place warrants further urgent discussion with the Federal Government in Berlin next week”. As the director of the European NGO co-ordinating body EAC in London, Dr Prystawik will be leading a delegation of European NGO representatives.
“It is essential to take a closer look at the underlying problems with the implementation of the Directives and possible solutions.
The main problem is that the bigger part of society rejects the concept of anti discrimination laws in itself”, said Dr Klaus Michael Alenfelder at the talks.
“At the forefront of this movement we find: companies and the former opposition in Germany as well as traditionalist parts of the political spectre.
Unfortunately most legal and HR professionals in Germany are not acquainted with the anti discrimination law and the forthcoming developments it entails.
Legal provisions that are not enforced remain useless. Worse still: The EU loses momentum if it cannot even enforce its basic values and aims.
The EU, through its legal framework, has provided the prerogatives for a Europe free from discrimination. Enforcement of this requires the co-operation of NGOs. Only by this kind of co-operation will this central project of a Europe of justice be successful. Looking at groups like the ACLU in the U.S. we can discover what can be done to ensure freedom from discrimination.”
Prystawik and Alenfelder agree on what NGOs must do:
Advertise the idea and inform civil society and policymakers about the benefits for all that come with a society free from discrimination.
Enforcement through the courts: Informing victims about their rights, follow through cases, provide training for the victims’ lawyers, influence the scientific discussion.
The judicial process is of particular importance. In Germany for instance, most judges and law school professors oppose non-discrimination policy in itself. Hence will they interpret the legal framework.
European Anti – Discrimination Council
Director: Dr. Stefan Prystawik
2 Old Brompton Road
Tel: (+44) 020 7543 7734
Fax: (+44) 020 7581 4445
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