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State of the Union
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Building a union of equality

Towards a fairer society

Meeting our full potential

With the demographic challenges that we face today, we have to empower and use the potential of all members of diverse societies. There must be the same opportunities for all who share the same aspirations, and this has been one of the main priorities of the von der Leyen Commission. Building a gender equal world is also a key objective integrated into the EU’s external actions.

Equality
is a core value of any democracy
14%
Gender pay gap
30%
Gender pensions gap

Towards gender equality

Achieving an inclusive society

The European Commission is committed to a pluralistic, gender-equal and inclusive society, where LGBTIQ+ people, minorities or people with disabilities are treated equally. A dedicated Task Force on Equality works to mainstream equality in all policy areas. The Commission is working with Member States to develop, adopt and implement national LGBTIQ+ and anti-racism action plans. As the guardian of the treaties, the Commission does not hesitate to initiate infringement procedures against violations of fundamental rights, as has been the case, for instance, in relation to violations against the LGBTIQ+ community in Hungary and Poland.

  1. October 2021
    Fighting antisemitism

    The EU strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life sets out a series of measures to step up the fight against all forms of antisemitism – but also, for the first time ever, to promote Jewish heritage and culture and fight antisemitism beyond the EU. The Member States are now developing national action plans, which will be developed by the end of 2022.

  2. December 2021
    Criminalising hate speech and hate crime

    The Commission took the first steps towards extending the list of EU crimes to include hate speech and hate crime.

  3. March and April 2022
    Implementing LGBTIQ+ and anti-racism plans

    The Commission issued guidelines on developing, adopting and implementing national anti-racism and LGBTIQ+ plans respectively.

No place
for discrimination in the EU
43%
of LGBTIQ+ people felt discriminated against in 2019
Over half
of persons with disabilities say they personally felt discriminated against in 2019

Leave no one behind

capitals of diversity

The European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity Award was presented for the first time in April 2022, to recognise the work done by towns, cities and regions in Europe to promote inclusion and create societies free of discrimination and hate.

Blind woman crossing the street

The Disability Platform provides another setting that enables relevant stakeholders to share experiences and good practices, learn from each other and collaborate.

Supporting children across the EU

Combatting child sexual abuse

  • In May 2022, the Commission proposed new EU legislation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse online. The proposed EU rules will oblige service providers to detect, report and remove child sexual abuse material.
  • A new independent EU Centre on Child Sexual Abuse will work closely with national law enforcement authorities, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and support groups to rescue and empower survivors and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Better internet for kids

  • In 2022, the Commission also adopted a new European strategy for a better internet for kids.
  • Rules on removing terrorist content online also entered into force.

Tackling disadvantage and exclusion

Disclaimer: The data on this page was last updated on 31 August 2022

Progress in other areas

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Achievements

of the von der Leyen Commission