Official Journal of the European Communities
COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2000/43/EC
of 29 June 2000
implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic
tion of private and family life and transactions carried
out in this context.
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European
Community and in particular Article 13 thereof,
The European Parliament has adopted a number of
Resolutions on the fight against racism in the European
The European Union rejects theories which attempt to
determine the existence of separate human races. The
use of the term ‘racial origin’ in this Directive does not
imply an acceptance of such theories.
The European Council in Tampere, on 15 and 16
October 1999, invited the Commission to come forward
as soon as possible with proposals implementing Article
13 of the EC Treaty as regards the fight against racism
The Treaty on European Union marks a new stage in the
process of creating an ever closer union among the
peoples of Europe.
In accordance with Article 6 of the Treaty on European
Union, the European Union is founded on the principles
of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles
which are common to the Member States, and should
respect fundamental rights as guaranteed by the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms and as they result from the
constitutional traditions common to the Member States,
as general principles of Community Law.
The Employment Guidelines 2000 agreed by the European Council in Helsinki, on 10 and 11 December
1999, stress the need to foster conditions for a socially
inclusive labour market by formulating a coherent set of
policies aimed at combating discrimination against
groups such as ethnic minorities.
Discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin may
undermine the achievement of the objectives of the EC
Treaty, in particular the attainment of a high level of
employment and of social protection, the raising of the
standard of living and quality of life, economic and
social cohesion and solidarity. It may also undermine the
objective of developing the European Union as an area
of freedom, security and justice.
The Commission presented a communication on racism,
xenophobia and anti-Semitism in December 1995.
The Council adopted on 15 July 1996 Joint Action
(96/443/JHA) concerning action to combat racism and
xenophobia (5) under which the Member States undertake to ensure effective judicial cooperation in respect of
offences based on racist or xenophobic behaviour.
To ensure the development of democratic and tolerant
societies which allow the participation of all persons
irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, specific action in
the field of discrimination based on racial or ethnic
origin should go beyond access to employed and selfemployed activities and cover areas such as education,
social protection including social security and healthcare, social advantages and access to and supply of
goods and services.
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission (1),
Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament (2),
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the
The right to equality before the law and protection
against discrimination for all persons constitutes a
universal right recognised by the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, the United Nations Convention on the
Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against
Women, the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination and the United
Nations Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms, to which all Member States
It is important to respect such fundamental rights and
freedoms, including the right to freedom of association.
It is also important, in the context of the access to and
provision of goods and services, to respect the protec-
(1) Not yet
published in the Official Journal.
delivered on 18.5.2000 (not yet published in the Official
delivered on 12.4.2000 (not yet published in the Official
delivered on 31.5.2000 (not yet published in the Official
(5) OJ L 185, 24.7.1996, p. 5.