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Equality and the European Union Constitution

By Mark Bell


The Constitution for the European Union adopted in June 2004 contains a variety of articles that relate to equality. These provisions are scattered across the different parts of the Constitution and equality emerges as simultaneously a value, an objective, a fundamental right, a positive duty and a legal competence. This article examines these multiple reference points in the light of three underlying themes. First, there is an analysis of the concepts of formal equal treatment and substantive equality. Secondly, the balance between negative duties to refrain from discrimination and positive duties to promote equality are considered. Finally, the challenge of ensuring equal protection whilst respecting and accommodating diversity is explored

Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1093/ilj
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