Malta should support the equality directive – AD

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Malta should support the equality directive - ADAlternattiva Demokratika has appealed to the Government to endorse the proposed European directive on equality of opportunity, adding that this will help tackle discrimination in various social spheres.

Michael Briguglio, spokesperson for Social and Economic Development, said “AD welcomes the proposed directive and is putting its own proposals. In the first instance, we believe that it should cover all types of discrimination, as in article 21 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which states that “any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.”

“AD also believes that insurance and other financial products should be covered by the Directive. Discriminatory practices in insurance and financial products should be prohibited. Besides, this Directive should be complemented by social and economic policy measures which promote equality of outcome and sustainability – such as investment in social inclusion, sustainable development and employment.”

Briguglio added that this Directive should be accompanied by clear regulations that disallow social dumping whereby companies can employ workers from other countries (both EU member states and non-member states) at wages which are lower than that established by national collective agreements.

“Besides, this Directive should be accompanied by measures that tackle discrimination in family policy such as the right to divorce for persons residing in Malta. This also includes the regularization of cohabitation and non-married households such as those made up of relatives, which should have equal legal and social rights with other family units as well be free from discrimination in social protection. The right for same-sex persons to form regularized civil partnerships which are free from discrimination in social protection should also be guaranteed.”

AD Chairperson Prof Arnold Cassola said, “the proposed directive, which promotes equality of opportunity, should be supported, though it should have a stronger social orientation for a more equal European Union. AD, like Green Parties across Europe is four-square behind a social Europe.”

AD’s representative Carmel Cacopardo shall be highlighting AD’s position on the directive in a forthcoming MEUSAC meeting in the coming days. Cacopardo said that AD agrees that certain service providers, such as small companies, should be given leeway to adapt the directive, however there should be clear standards to avoid dodging of responsibilities.

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