No discrimination based on race or ethnicity
Equal treatment no matter your race or ethnicity is one of the core principles of the EU. In employment, education, social protection, access to goods and services – everyone must be treated the same.
Plus, it’s also illegal for people to harass you based on your race or ethnicity or incite others to discriminate against you, even if it’s online.
If something like this does happen, the law provides mechanisms for you to react and get justice in the courts.
EU law prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex or sexual orientation, especially in your work place. The EU is working to expand this to healthcare, education and access to housing.
However, national law is dominant on issues like the right to marry, enter a civil partnership, adopt children, change gender, etc. This is why the rules vary from country to country.
Even though some EU countries do not recognise same-sex marriage, in 2018 the European Court of Justice ruled that if a couple gets married in an EU country where this is possible, other EU countries must at least respect the residency rights of the couple who want to live together in their territory.
Women at work
EU law protects women from discrimination and harassment at work. Still, the higher up you go in hierarchies, the fewer women you will find. Plus, there are a whole range of industries that are hard for women to enter – from construction and fisheries to ICT, finance and politics.
The EU encourages more equality in the work place by funding projects that support women to break through male-dominated sectors. It also promotes transparent selection procedures, equality policies and other mechanisms that help women reach their full professional potential.
Living with a disability
Over 70 million EU citizens live with a disability which makes it hard for them to do the things most people take for granted.
The EU focuses on eliminating barriers that prevent people with disabilities from engaging with society and participating fully - from accessibility to goods and services to education and employment.
For instance, several things have been put in place to ensure people with disabilities can enjoy their right to free travel. The disability parking card can be used in all EU countries. And if you’re travelling by buses or trains over a long distance, you are entitled to have a companion free of charge and assistance along your route.