Non-discrimination/equality mainstreaming is a valuable new means of advancing equality while
combating discrimination. Legislation to prohibit discrimination is an important foundation for this
work. However, legislation alone will not secure the achievement of equality and the elimination
of discrimination. A wider framework for action on equality is required that can achieve the
cultural, behavioural, institutional and structural changes required for a more equal Europe. Non-
discrimination/equality mainstreaming is a key part of this wider strategic framework for action
Non-discrimination/equality mainstreaming places equality and non-discrimination at the heartof policy making, policy implementation and policy review. It supports the goals of equality and
non-discrimination and the benefits their achievement bring to our societies. It enhances the policy
process and improves the potential for public policy to achieve its objectives. It merits investmentof time, creativity and resources at all levels.
Non-discrimination/equality mainstreaming is a challenging concept to implement. This compendiumis designed to assist policy makers and programme managers, in all policy fields, to implement thismainstreaming as an integral part of their work. It offers guidance on supporting and implementingthis mainstreaming and sets out a broad range of practice examples from different Member States.
This compendium was commissioned by the European Commission as a consequence of a
recommendation from the Non-Discrimination Governmental Expert Group good practice exchange
seminar on non-discrimination/equality mainstreaming. This seminar was held in Helsinki in
September 2009. It concluded that there was an inconsistent understanding of the concept of non-
discrimination/equality mainstreaming across the Member States and that there was only limited
implementation of this mainstreaming in the policy processes at Member State level. It highlighted
the need for European Union level guidance to further the practice of non-discrimination/equality
This compendium was made possible by the generous assistance of the members of the Non-
Discrimination Governmental Expert Group. Members identified practices of non-discrimination/
equality mainstreaming at national, regional and local levels in their countries and made the necessary
links with the officials engaged in implementing this mainstreaming. These officials took time
from their busy schedules to write up their practice of implementing non-discrimination/equality
mainstreaming and the quality of the compendium owes much to their diligence and commitment.
This compendium will hopefully serve to support a wider practice of non-discrimination/equalitymainstreaming in the policy processes of the Member States and the European Commission.
Director for EqualityDG Justice