Community cohesion: Good practices in local and regional level legislation concerning equal opportunities

Project details

Full project title: Community cohesion: Good practices in local and regional level legislation concerning equal opportunities special attention paid to areas lagging behind

Duration: 2007-2008

Sponsor: European Commission

Project leader for SPE: Professor Rob Atkinson

Research partners/collaborators: South Transdanubian Regional Development Agency

Project summary

This was a pan-European report covering the 27 EU Member States and was prepared for the Committee of the Regions (CoR) to:

  • Provide an overview of the anti-discrimination and exclusion policy and legislation of the European Union.
  • Present the anti-discrimination and anti-exclusion programmes of individual Member States on the basis of the overview.
  • Formulate proposals and recommendations for different European institutions and organisations on how to assist with the social integration of discriminated people and how to counteract discrimination.

The main focus of the report was on the role of local and regional authorities in combating discrimination. Part I of the report provides an overview of EU legislation and policy, concepts of poverty, the underclass and social exclusion.

Part II of the report contains twelve case studies presenting the wide array of activities that Europe's regional and local authorities, institutions and civil organisations carry out in order to improve the situation of the excluded and fight discrimination against vulnerable groups (eg the Roma).

Part III of the report contains recommendations to the CoR and argues that in order to achieve significant results in this field EU anti-discrimination policy has to be pursued for decades and that we are just at the beginning of this road. In spite of developments in legislation and the establishment of associated institutions we are still far from being free of discrimination in Europe.

To get closer to this goal, local governments and regions also have significant tasks to make available financial and human resources, policy guidelines and to draw up different strategies to combat different forms of discrimination. Although the prohibition of discrimination is not a new value the fight against discrimination as a collective, social, national and local public policy is relatively new both in terms of legislation and its associated institutional systems.

Therefore it is reasonable to encourage and assist the establishment of the system of this new public policy with as much analysis and action as possible.

Key output

Report: Addressing community cohesion - Good practice in equalities legislation at the local and regional level, with particular emphasis on deprived rundown areas.

Project contact

For further information on the project, please contact Professor Rob Atkinson (

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