On 4th September 2017, the ACP YPN and 28 organisations working on equality in the EU published an open letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, President of European Commission and Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, which expresses some deep concern vis-à-vis the European Commission’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy – ‘A better workplace for all: from equal opportunities to towards diversity and inclusion.’
Firstly, the letter expresses concern “with the decision to exclude staff belonging to racial, ethnic and religious minorities as a specific target group in this strategy and the failure to plan targeted measures to improve racial, ethnic and religious diversity at the European Commission”.
Secondly, the letter also expresses concern that “[b]y not specifically tackling discrimination based on race, ethnic origin and religion, this strategy falls short of this mission and overlooks one of the most pressing concerns of diversity and inclusion in the European Commission today”.
Thirdly, the letter underlines that “Particularly at senior levels, the issue of under-representation is acute. This points to a trend of structural discrimination within the European Commission and jeopardises the equal inclusion of racial, ethnic and religious minority staff”.
Based on these issues, the co-signatories recommended that:
- The Strategy be amended immediately to include ‘racial, ethnic and religious minority staff’ as a target group and specific measures are developed to ensure that the Commission is a fair and equal workplace for this group.
- The specific measures acknowledge and take steps to address the overwhelming lack of representation of racial, ethnic and religious minorities (particularly at senior levels), discrimination within the workplace, and the need for policies for reasonable accommodation of cultural and religious needs for Commission staff. Particular attention should also be devoted to the workplace situation of women belonging to this group.
- In the design of the forthcoming operational action plan the European Commission should seek advice from organisations with expertise on this issue, and consult racial, ethnic and religious minority staff – both men and women. The plan should implement specific measures for this target group.
What is the European Network Against Racism (ENAR)? ENAR is the only pan-European anti-racism network that combines advocacy for racial equality and facilitating cooperation among civil society anti-racism actors in Europe. The organisation was set up in 1998 by grassroots activists on a mission to achieve legal changes at European level and make decisive progress towards racial equality in all EU Member States. Since then, ENAR has grown and achieved a great deal.
See also, Politico EU on Diversity & Inclusion in the EU, with input from the EP Anti-Racism, Diversity & Inclusion inter-group.
Want to know more about ACP YPN’s mission and goals?
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