The EU race directive: its symbolic value - its only value?

Article English OPEN
Howard, Erica (2004)
  • Publisher: AB Academic Publishers

Legislation against racial discrimination makes, it is argued, a clcar statement against racism in all its forms and hence has symbolic value. This is expressed in\ud different ways, for example: a declaration of firm opposition to racism; the sending out or a clear political signal regarding the commitment to the fight against racism; a powerrul symbol and a statement of intent. This Article will argue that the European Union's Race directive had, at the time of its adoption, significant symbolic value because it made a clear and unequivical statement to\ud the Union's citizens, to its Member States and to the wider world, that the Union was committed to the elimination of racisrn and racial discrimination. The plans for enlargement of the European Union, with a number of States joining in 2004, added to the value of the statement: it signalled to these new Member States that the Union expects thcm to combat racism and racial or ethnic discrimination and to promote and adopt effective measures against such discr-imination in line with the Race Directive, as this has become part of the Acquis Comnunautaire, the body of law that: must be adopted by all States wishing to join. But does the Race Directive today, after the deadline for its implelnziltation has passed, still have any symbolic value?
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