BRIDGING THE DIVIDE? INTEGRATING THE FUNCTIONS OF NATIONAL EQUALITY BODIES AND NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS...
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BRIDGING THE DIVIDE? INTEGRATING THE FUNCTIONS OF NATIONAL EQUALITY BODIES AND NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION. Neil Crowther Independent Consultant Colm O’Cinneide Reader in Law, University College London

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BRIDGING THE DIVIDE? INTEGRATING THE FUNCTIONS OF NATIONAL EQUALITY BODIES AND NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

Neil Crowther

Independent Consultant

ColmO’Cinneide

Reader in Law, University College London

Drawing on six country studies carried out by Gauthier de Beco (Belgium), Daniel Borillo (France), Neil Crowther (Great Britain), RikkiHoltmaat (the Netherlands), PiaJustesen (Denmark) and Thomas Pegram (Ireland)

Report prepared under a grant from the Nuffield Foundation

(AJU/40464)


National equality and human rights bodies in the eu
National equality and human rights bodies in the EU EQUALITY BODIES AND NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

  • There exists a diverse range of NEBs and NHRIs in the EU.

  • NEBs and NHRIs have much in common, and from one perspective could appear to be natural bedfellows.

  • However, the mode of functioning of NEBs and NHRIs can differ in significant ways.

  • This poses inevitable challenges for any attempt to combine responsibility for these functions within the remit of a single integrated institution.


The integration trend
The Integration Trend EQUALITY BODIES AND NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

  • Several EU member states have now established such integrated bodies, and several more are giving serious consideration to following suit.

  • In all the countries surveyed for this study, the integration process has generated a degree of tension and controversy.

  • The pros and cons of integration, and the challenges it presents, have in general not been discussed in detail.


The potential advantages of integration
THE POTENTIAL ADVANTAGES OF INTEGRATION EQUALITY BODIES AND NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

  • Conceptual Coherence: the Common Foundations of Equality and Human Rights

  • The Potential for Synergy between Equality and Human Rights Functions

  • Operational Advantages

  • But Can the Potential of Integrated Bodies Be Effectively Realised?


The challenges of integration
The Challenges of Integration EQUALITY BODIES AND NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

  • Role, Purpose and Priorities.

  • Functions, Powers, Mode of Operation.

  • Legal Framework and the Lack of ‘External’ Integration.

  • Independence and Resources.

  • Merger and Organisational Culture.


Meeting the challenges of integration
Meeting the Challenges of Integration EQUALITY BODIES AND NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

  • A ‘Change Management’ Strategy.

  • Inclusivity and Engagement.

  • An Integrated Work Programme.

  • An Embrace of Difference.

  • Common Powers applying to both the Equality and Human Rights Elements of their Mandate.

  • Staff Training.


Beyond integrated bodies
Beyond Integrated Bodies EQUALITY BODIES AND NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

  • Lessons of this study are potentially useful for NEBs and NHRIs forming close relationships.

  • Also has relevance for public and private bodies and civil society at large.

  • Equality and human rights share common conceptual foundations and strong synergies can be developed between them.

  • However, while equality and human rights may be different dialects of a common language, mutual comprehension should not always be assumed.


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