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Trying hard – but could do better

Trying hard – but could do better

The Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, has published the results of the Eurobarometer 2008 survey which provide a good insight into the perceptions, attitudes, knowledge and awareness of discrimination in the European Union in 2008. While a large proportion of Europeans think that discrimination is on the decline, they believe it is still widespread in their country. 

The report, Discrimination in the European Union – Perceptions, Experiences and Attitudes, contains the results of surveys carried out by TNS Opinion & Social network between February 18th and March 22nd, 2008 across the whole of the EU.

While discrimination is seen as being on the decline – although not dramatically so – large proportions of Europeans think that discrimination is widespread in their country: 62% for ethnic origin, 51% for sexual orientation, 45% for disability, 42% for age and for religion/belief and 36% for gender. Three results stand out in particular:


  • The belief that discrimination on grounds of disability is widespread has dropped by 8 % since the last survey in 2006.
  • As in 2006, ethnic origin is perceived as the most widespread source of discrimination.
  • Whilst Europeans seem to be comfortable with ethnic diversity in general, they are notably less so in the attitudes towards Roma. 24% say they would be uncomfortable with a Roma neighbour, compared to just 6% with a neighbour from a different ethnic origin than theirs.

Overall, the report concludes that whilst there have been some encouraging improvements in the area of discrimination over the last two years, there remains room for future improvement. You can view the report at:

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