European year of Equal Opportunities for All
Jan 23, 2007 - Today's Eurobarometer survey shows that a large proportion of Europeans are of the opinion that discrimination is widespread in their country (64%).
On average 51 % of Europeans think that not enough effort is being made in their country to fight discrimination and they would like to see this change. At the same time, the survey highlights that awareness of the existence of anti-discrimination laws in the EU remains quite low.Disability is the only type of discrimination which more than half of the European public knows is prohibited by law when hiring employees. The public is least aware of legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age (31%) and sexual orientation (30%). Only one third of European Union citizens (32%) know their rights should they become a victim of discrimination or harassment.
According to today's survey, discrimination based on ethnic origin is felt to be the most widespread (almost 2 Europeans out of 3, or 64%; however, results vary widely between countries). Around one in two Europeans considers discrimination based on disability and sexual orientation to be widespread. Discrimination on the basis of age (46%), religion or beliefs (44%) and gender (40%) are also felt to occur, albeit at to slightly lesser extent.
A broad majority of European citizens believe that being disabled (79%), being a Roma (77%), being over 50 (69%) or having a different ethnic origin (62%) is a disadvantage in their society. Iin all but four Member States, a majority of citizens find that people of a different ethnic origin than the rest of the population enrich the national culture.
Source: "European year of Equal Opportunities for All –Eurobarometer on Discrimination", Europa, January 23, 2007