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An overall strategy to ensure “a genuine Union for equality”

Informal video conference held by EU Ministers for Employment and Social Policy (EPSCO)

15 Mar · 19h45

© Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021 / Pedro Sá da Bandeira

“Equality, non-discrimination and diversity in the European Union” was the theme of the third political debate in the informal EPSCO-ministers’ video conference, which was chaired by the Portuguese Minister of State for the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva.


With the participation of the European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, the discussion allowed joint and in-depth reflexion on how the phenomena of discrimination affect our lives in society and, in particular, the most vulnerable groups. At times such as these, policies promoting equality and the fight against discrimination are indispensable to the upholding of a prosperous collective future based on a social model that protects the most vulnerable and ensures genuinely equal opportunities for all citizens.

A strong social Europe, ready to face the challenges of the recovery and the coming transitions, must be a Europe whose policies promote equality and combat discrimination, a Europe that does not exclude and that represents a place of freedom for everyone to realise their potential.

To achieve this objective, an overall strategy is necessary, one that fills in the gaps in protection against discrimination and leads to concrete action to ensure “a genuine Union for equality”.

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Mariana Vieira da Silva, Portuguese Minister of State for the Presidency © Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021 / Pedro Sá da Bandeira

The Member States have recognised the importance of developing a Union for equality grounded in cross-cutting strategies for combating different spheres of discrimination, using legislative and non-legislative instruments of public policy.


During the session, three important anti-discrimination measures were dealt with: the recently approved Council recommendation on Roma equality, inclusion and participation, which represents an important step in the struggle for this community’s rights; the EU anti-racism action plan; and the directive on pay transparency, which was launched recently by the European Commission.