A bird’s eye view on EU anti-discrimination law: the impact of the 2000 equality directives

The year 2000 marked the birth of EU anti-discrimination law as a field with the adoption of two Equality Directives. They extended the prohibition of discrimination to five additional grounds and expanded the material scope of equality. Having reached its eighteenth birthday in the year 2018, EU anti-discrimination law deserves an exploration of its achievements and prospects. This paper zooms into these twin Directives, as well as on the new grounds of discrimination planted therein, namely race and ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, and disability. It first outlines the genesis of EU anti-discrimination law, which is followed by a discussion of major normative and practical themes emerging in EU anti-discrimination law after 2000 such as the personal and material scope of the Directives, new forms of discrimination and mechanisms to counteract discrimination, including the proceduralization of EU anti-discrimination law.