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Liz Lynne co-chairs European Parliament hearing on new equal treatment directive.

December 8, 2008 4:01 PM

Liz Lynne MEP (UK, ALDE) today co-chaired a hearing in the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee on the proposal for a new comprehensive antidiscrimination directive.

The proposed legislation would outlaw discrimination on the ground of disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief in access to goods and services. Race and Gender are currently already covered by existing EU legislation and discrimination in employment is also outlawed in all areas under the 2000 EU employment directive.

Today's hearing scrutinised the Commission's directive and discussed how the new directive will differ from past anti- discrimination legislation as well as hearing from a number of leading human rights experts on what impact the directive could have.

Speaking at the hearing, Liz, who is draftsperson for the report of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee on the proposal and is also Vice- President of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee said:

" It is vital that as a Parliament we build on the European Commission's proposal for a comprehensive directive to ensure we can tackle the discrimination that millions of EU citizens encounter everyday, whether that is in access to shops, transport, the use of information technology or the provision of financial services.

"Today's hearing was an excellent opportunity to hear from experts in the field about what is needed in this legislation to ensure it is workable and achieves its aims."

"Antidiscrimination and human rights are the fundamental principles of the European Union and it is vital that the millions of people currently excluded from antidiscrimination legislation in access to goods and services, such as disabled people, older people, gay or lesbian and transgender people and people with a particular religion or belief, are given the equal rights they are entitled to as European Citizens.

ENDS

Liz Lynne MEP led calls in the European Parliament for a comprehensive new directive to end the current hierarchy of antidiscrimination cover in a European Parliament own initiative report in May which led the Commission to bring forward a comprehensive directive in June.

Liz is Vice President of the European Parliament's Disability Intergroup, Co chair of the Age Intergroup in the European Parliament and Vice President of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee in the European Parliament.