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Beyond European Labour Law? Reflections on the EU Racial Equality Directive

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In June 2000, the Council adopted a directive forbidding discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin in the areas of employment, social protection, education, goods and services, and housing. This is the first time the European Union has adopted binding legislation to combat racism. In this article, the Directive is placed within the context of European labour law, and its implications for the development of this area of law are considered. Specifically, it is proposed that a new category of European ‘social law’ is emerging, broader in scope than European ‘labour law’. The Directive also reveals a new emphasis on effective enforcement of social law. Finally, this article considers the position of the Social Partners and non-governmental organisations in relation to the Directive. The prominence of NGOs is linked to wider trends in the wake of globalisation.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Leicester

Publication date: 2002-09-01

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