Rethinking the Role of Member States in the Process of Europeanization: Obstacles to the Work of the National Equality Bodies

Laura Asarite-Schmidt

Equality is one of the EU's founding values. Thus one can observe a process of Europeanization of the national approach to equality across the Member States. This has brought different developments in the national anti-discrimination legislation, as well as institutional changes. In this context the paper concentrates on the role of the national equality bodies. Having been created by the EU legislation these bodies are at the core of equality promotion in Member States and can be considered the central bodies developing a more European approach to equality promotion and anti-discrimination. In spite of their potential, the national equality bodies also face significant obstacles in their work. Thus this paper concentrates on the process of Europeanization through the work of national equality bodies by asking the question: what are the main obstacles to the work of the equality bodies. The paper is an exploratory study with the aim of demonstrating the linkage between obstacles to the work of these bodies and their capacity to Europeanise the national approach to equality and anti-discrimination. The empirical research demonstrates that the Member States can burden the work of the national equality bodies Europeanization on multiple levels. Moreover, the reluctance of the Member States to strengthen the role of the national equality bodies hinders the development of a more European approach to equality.





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