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European Framework on Positive Action

  • Jozefien Van Caeneghem
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter reviews the European framework on positive action in order to uncover (1) whether the implementation of positive action is optional or mandatory, (2) which conditions must be fulfilled, and (3) which type(s) of measures can be adopted for equality and anti-discrimination purposes. This chapter first focuses on the Council of Europe. The analysis of the case law of the EctHR suggests a mixed approach towards the permissibility of this human rights instrument. A closer look at the work of the European Committee of Social Rights and the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities shows that these bodies appear to require the adoption of positive action under certain circumstances. The proportionality requirement is also considered and it is argued that it seems likely that the relevant supervisory bodies would accept strong measures providing preferential treatment in certain situations. Second, this chapter analyses the European Union framework. Given the sole focus on gender equality in employment until 1997, the most significant legislation and case law on gender-based positive action in employment is presented. The Court of Justice considers gender preferences as a derogation of the equal treatment principle and the focus appears to be on the pursuit of equality of opportunities rather than results. Furthermore, this chapter discusses the provisions on positive action based on racial and ethnic origin and other discrimination grounds and reflects on the possibilities presented by future case law for the CJEU to adopt a less restrictive approach.

References

Legal Instruments

    Council of Europe

    1. European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (4 November 1950) ETS 5Google Scholar
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    European Union

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Non-Legally Binding Instruments

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    European Union

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Case Law

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    European Committee of Social Rights

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    Court of Justice of the European Union

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Country Monitoring

    Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

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General Comments and Recommendations

    European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jozefien Van Caeneghem
    • 1
  1. 1.BrusselsBelgium

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