Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 98,4 million

Official Journal Reference

L 303 of 2000-12-02

Legislative Reference

of 2000-11-27
To establish a Community Action Programme for 2001-2006 and to support the Member States’ action to combat all forms of discrimination.


This programme includes a list of initiatives and measures to combat discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation for the period from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2006, following the entry into force of the new Article 13 of the Amsterdam Treaty.

This programme does not cover gender. On the basis of the experience gained in the field of promoting equality between men and women in the 1970s, the Commission is proposing a broader action programme to combat all forms of discrimination.

Discrimination shall be defined as one person or a group of persons being treated less favourably than another on grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, or as the application of an apparently neutral provision which is liable to disadvantage that person or group of persons on the same grounds, unless justified by objective reasons.


The Action Programme is targeted to elaborate the understanding of issues related to discrimination through improved knowledge and measurement and through evaluation of the effectiveness of policies and practice. It also envisages developing the capacity of target actors (in particular the Member States, local and regional authorities, independent bodies responsible for the fight against discrimination, the social partners and non-governmental organizations) to address discrimination effectively, in particular through support for the exchange of information and good practice and networking in Europe while promoting and disseminating the values and practices underlying the fight against discrimination.

The Commission shall have regular exchange of views with representatives of non-governmental organizations and the social partners at European level on the design, implementation and follow-up of the programme and on related policy orientations.

The Commission shall be assisted by a committee composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission while, in cooperation with the Member States, ensuring the overall consistency with other Union and Community policies, instruments and actions, in particular by establishing appropriate mechanisms to coordinate the activities of this programme.

The Commission and the Member States shall ensure consistency and complementarity between actions undertaken under this programme and other relevant actions such as EQUAL.

This programme shall be open to the participation of:

_ the EFTA/EEA countries;
_ the candidate countries of central and eastern Europe (CEECs);
_ Cyprus and Malta;
_ And Turkey.

The Commission shall regularly monitor this programme in cooperation with the Member States. The programme shall be evaluated by the Commission with the assistance of independent experts. This evaluation will assess the relevance and effectiveness of actions implemented with regard to the objectives referred to in Article 2. It will also examine the impact of the programme as a whole.


Within a transnational framework, the following actions may be implemented:

_ Analysis of factors related to discrimination, including through the collection of statistics, studies and the development of indicators and benchmarks; and the evaluation of anti-discrimination legislation and practice with a view to assessing its effectiveness and impact, with effective dissemination of the results;

_ Transnational cooperation between target actors and the promotion of networking at European level between non-governmental organizations active in the fight against discrimination;

_ Awareness raising, in particular to emphasize the European dimension of the fight against discrimination and to publicize the results of the programme, in particular through communications, publications, campaigns and events.
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