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Panel debate: can the EU deliver social justice and be representative of all its citizens?

  • Date(s)
    14 March 2007
  • Time
    6:00 p.m.
  • Location
    The Centre, 22 Avenue Marnix, 1000 Brussels

On 14 March, Brussels-based think-tank, The Centre, held a panel debate on the question "Can the EU deliver social justice and be representative of all its citizens?". Speakers at the debate include Mr Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights and Policy Network Board member, and Mr Jonathon Faull from the European Commission.

There is a degree of consensus that inequalities persist in the EU across a range of grounds: ethnicity, religion, gender, age, to name but a few. However, whether we need a quantitative analysis of the extent of discrimination and how and where it occurs in the EU, is an issue that stirs up more controversy.

Trevor Phillips is an outspoken advocate of equality and argued that anti-discrimination and equality need to be placed more firmly at the heart of the European Social Model. For this to happen, there must first be rigorous data collection, coordinated at the level of the EU. Tying his reflections into the broader debate about how Social Europe can deliver more social justice, he considered areas where data could provide the necessary information to understand how discrimination works in the EU and how we can address it.

Jonathan Faull has been closely involved in setting up the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the European Institute for Gender Equality. He debated with Trevor Phillips on the question of how far data could address gaps in equality policy and where we expect such data to reveal fundamental mechanisms of inequality.

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