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de Brún backs comprehensive anti-discrimination package

21 May, 2008

Bairbre de Brún has today welcomed the passing of the report on equal-opportunities and non-discrimination in the European Parliament.

Speaking in the parliament this morning, Ms de Brún said,

"Liz Lynne MEP's report shows the great need for a comprehensive legislative framework that will put an end to discrimination outside the world of work and which will cover a wide range of grounds.

"Existing EU anti-discrimination laws outlaw discrimination in the workplace on all grounds. However they only provided protection against discrimination in access to goods and services on the basis of gender and race and not on the grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation or religion.

"As a result, millions continue to be discriminated against everyday in the EU including older people trying to access health, education or transport services or trying to buy insurance or take out a loan.

"These groups had the same problems in relation to employment until strong European level legislation came into force. It was legislation at EU level that changed the attitude of employers. It was EU directives that pushed European governments to take a stronger stance against discrimination in the workplace. We now need to see comprehensive legislation at EU level to strengthen these rights in terms of goods and services."

Note to Editor: British MEP Liz Lynne brought forward the report on anti-discrimination and Ms de Brún MEP spoke in support of the vote in the European Parliament debate and voted in favour at the plenary vote.


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