Posted on 23. July 2015 in Non-Discrimination

Germany blocks as the only EU country a Europe-wide protection against discrimination. More than 40 associations and NGOs from Germany and Europe appeal now in a joint statement to the German federal government, not to prevent the new Equal Treatment Directive of the European Union any longer. “The federal government accepts, that people with disabilities in many European countries, can be denied access to premises – or gays or lesbians guests might be refused a room by hoteliers,” criticizes the head of the German Anti-Discrimination Agency, Christine Lueders.


The proposed directive would create EU-wide protection against discrimination on grounds of age, sexual orientation, religion and belief and disability in access to goods and services. It would be an important component to create a more just and more equal Europe for everyone.


Trans people already enjoy protection against gender identity discrimination when purchasing goods or accessing services under EU gender equality law. However, if a trans person now is not allowed into a club because of their wheelchair, or if the veil of a Muslim trans woman is mocked at in a restaurant they are left without legal protection. The proposed directive would close this gap.


The German government rejects the directive in principle, although necessary changes to German law would be comparatively small. All remaining 27 EU member states are ready to engage in negotiations about the directive.


The first signatories of the Joint Declaration call for the German government to change its attitude to the new Equal Treatment Directive and pave the way for substantive negotiations. They ask the government to enter into a dialogue with the signatories.


Please share this statement to help ensure that fundamental human rights can be enjoyed by all across Europe.


Download the Declaration (EN)

Read more about the joint initiative on the website of the German Equality Body