Any new law must be necessary, meaning that it must respond to a pressing social need.
In the case of the ETD, which widens the scope of anti-discrimination to all sectors of life, public and private, no pressing social need has been demonstrated.
There have been no studies that show, based on objective and reliable data, where and to what extent the discrimination that the ETD attempts to deal with takes place.
The European Parliament uses subjective data from the European Commission Special Eurobarometer 393, stating (emphasis added):
- “17% of Europeans report they have personally felt discriminated against or harassed (in the course of 12 months prior to the survey).”
- “Many Europeans believe discrimination is widespread, in particular on grounds of sexual orientation (51%) and disability (45%), age (42%) and religion (42%) and embraced several areas, notably housing, education and services.” (EC Special Eurobarometer 393, p 32)
While this shows peoples’ perception of discrimination, it doesn’t tell us anything about actual discrimination in the EU or about the need to tackle it through such a far-reaching piece of legislation.
It therefore remains unclear why the EU needs to place such a massive bureaucratic burden on all citizens based on vague assumptions of discrimination.
Furthermore, the existence of similar domestic anti-discrimination laws shows that there is no pressing social need for the ETD to be adopted.
The EP Impact Assessment makes it very clear that “most Member States already have discrimination legislation in place” (EP Assessment, p 92), that “there is considerable experience available inside and outside EU as how to implement equality legislation” (EP Assessment, p 92) and that “it is assumed that the changes resulting from the proposed Directive would be iterative and already performed in most countries to some extent” (EP Assessment, p 92).