For a More Inclusive Europe

Resolution submitted by: JEF Political Commission 2 – Internal European Affairs

Adopted by the European Congress in Liège on 21 November 2021


The last few years have seen an increase in public discourse relating to inclusion, gender and racial dynamics, and systemic means of discrimination. For policies to be truly fit for the whole society, all members of said society must be involved in the process in order to create a positive impact. The inclusion of all willing citizens in civil society activism is imperative for the development of policies.

JEF Europe,

  • Emphasising that the European Union (EU) is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons of minority background, as laid down in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU);
  • Recalling the purpose of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the European Convention on Human Rights and other applicable human rights treaties to protect the rights of everyone living in the EU and Europe and their role in strengthening and bringing consistency to the protection of human and fundamental rights;
  • Recognising the work of the European institutions to promote equal rights among all members of society through means such as the Anti-Racism Action Plan, the first-ever dedicated Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, and a task force on equality mainstreaming;
  • Deeply disturbed by the rise in hate crimes all across Europe in the past few years;
  • Acknowledging the colonial past of some member states, which is still not recognised in some of them, and its still existing impact on the power relations between countries and within our societies;
  • Acknowledging the lack of diversity among the people in visible leadership roles of the European institutions who play key roles in the policy-making process;
  • Commending the work of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
    for a more inclusive Union;
  • Welcoming the appointment of the first EU anti-racism coordinator and the set of actions set out in the EU Anti-Racism Action Plan 2020-2025 covering e.g. aspects of economy, education, EU legislation and fighting extremism and hate speech;
  • Acknowledging the work of EU level CSO networks and organizations towards a more inclusive Europe;
  • Commending the direct support provided for public authorities, not-for-profit and civil society organisations, as well as cultural, youth and research organisations to promote the EU values, respect for human rights, equality, democracy, freedom and the rule of law through the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme;
  • Observing the underwhelming level of communication between the European equality bodies, e.g. through Equinet, and directly with Europeans to reduce lack of awareness of such channels;
  • Recalling the resolution “After the Halle synagogue attack: Never again far-right extremism and antisemitism, Solidarity with Jewish communities”;
  • Taking note of JEF’s own findings through projects such as Diversity in Youth European Volunteering (DIVE) and MINDSET;
  • Deeply disturbed by Polish and Hungarian governments’ systemic actions taken against human rights;
  • Expressing its appreciation for the work on this issue of the European Parliament’s intergroups;
  • Welcoming the overwhelmingly positive vote of the European Parliament in declaring the European Union a LGBTIQ Freedom Zone on 11th March 2021;
  • Deploring the blocking of the Anti-discrimination Directive by the Council since 2008;
  • Expressing its appreciation for the Pay Transparency Directive proposal of the European Commission;
  • Expressing its worry over the general lack of data collection across much of the EU and the weaknesses this causes at the national equality bodies in many EU countries, among other reasons;
  • Emphasising the importance of representation in media of people from marginalised communities;
  • Highlights the importance of a proper implementation of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages;
  • Fully aware of the poor work done by several Member States to adequately respect the rights of speakers of regional and minority languages (RML), which in the EU were estimated to number up to 50 million in 2013;
  • Fully aware of the difficulties faced by European citizens that live in areas such as sparsely populated, rural, mountain and island regions whose geographical, socioeconomic or demographic situation implies a series of disadvantages;
  • Noting with satisfaction that the European Union has created the “Code of conduct on countering illegal hate speech online”;
  • Underlining the importance of an intersectional approach when it comes to inclusion initiatives;
  • Recalling the initiative founded by Ursula Hirschmann “Femmes pour l’Europe” (Women for Europe), created to give voice to women in shaping the process of European integration;
  • Reaffirming the importance of inclusion of all marginalised groups in the European integration process.


JEF Europe, therefore,

  1. Calls for all EU institutions and Members States to act against discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation;
  2. Calls for infringement procedures to be launched when compliance of national laws and practices with EU equality law is unsatisfactory;
  3. Reaffirms the importance of the European Court of Justice in holding member states accountable for the breaches of European Law;
  4. Encouraging participation and involvement of marginalised groups in policy-making and decision-making processes on all levels and within society;
  5. Demands the unblocking of the anti-discrimination directive in the Council, and to have a meaningful effect within the EU it needs legally binding elements to be enforced;
  6. Calls on Member States and EU institutions to improve public awareness of the non-discrimination legislation and recourses, and support the work of non-profit and civil society organisations to promote awareness on situations and challenges faced by marginalised groups;
  7. Calls for the Member States to promote better awareness of the role of national equality bodies in combatting discrimination;
  8. Urges the development of Equality Bodies’ mandates to cover discrimination on any ground recognised in the Fundamental Rights Charter, European Convention on Human Rights or domestic legislation, as already implemented by many Member States and to ensure the independence of those bodies;
  9. Expresses its hope for a better communication and cooperation between European equality bodies with organizations such as EQUINET whose status and funding could be improved;
  10. Recommends the sharing of best practices of implementation of EU and national law;
  11. Affirms the importance of the EU institutions leading by example;
  12. Calls for a bigger role for the EU anti-racism coordinator, to uphold the mission given to the office and increase its work capacity;
  13. Calls for a better representation of intersectionality in legal documents;
  14. Calls for specific action by the EU institutions in order to guarantee an effective protection of the rights of Regional and Minority Languages speakers.
  15. Highlights the importance of developing and promoting the strategies and tools for combating hate speech and hate crimes, be it offline and online;
  16. Underlines the importance of media to raise awareness about issues, recourse, solutions and use the correct and specific terminology when needed;
  17. Stresses the importance of changes of mindset through education and anti-discriminatory activism that need to be also developed for a successful implementation of law.