Bodies for the promotion of equal treatment (Article 13 Directive 2000/43)

AuthorKádár, András
a) Body/bodies designated for the promotion of equal treatm ent irrespective of
racial/ethnic origin according to Article 13 of the Racial Equali ty Directive
The specialised body for the promotion of equal treatment irrespective of racial or ethnic
origin is the Equal Treatment Authority (Authority) established by the ETA. It began
operation on 1 February 2005. Government Decree 362/2004 on the Equal Treatment
Authority and the Detailed Rules of its Procedure206 (ETAD) was adopted on 26 Decemb er
2004 (its provisions were integrated into the ETA on 1 July 2013). The legislation governing
the Authority, its structure, statutes and operations was moved from one legal norm to
another on many occasions. The most important rules can cur rently be found in Article 8
and Articles 14-17/D of the ETA.
Hungary’s Ombudsman, the Commi ssioner for Fundamental Rights (through his deputy
responsible for minority affairs) also performs some of the functions required by Article 13
of Dir ective 2000/43: he conducts independent surveys concerning discrimination,
publishes independent reports and makes recommendations on any issues relating to such
discrimination. The Ombudsman has a very limited ability to assist victims in pursuing their
complaints, and the scope of the Ombudsman’s investigation is restricted to state
authorities and public service pr oviders. As mentioned above, the stat us and proceedings
of the Ombudsman are governed by Act CXI of 2011 on the Parliamentary Commissioner
for Human Rights.
Since the Equal Treatment Authority is the designated equality body and since most
discrimination complaints are filed with the Authority, this analysis will focus on the
Authority’s status and activities.
The Equal Treatment Authority, which is the designated body according to the transposition
process, is vested with the right and duty to act against any discriminatory act irrespective
of the ground of discrimination (sex, racial affiliation, colour of skin, nationality (not in the
sense of citizenship), belonging to a national or ethnic minority, mother tongue, disability,
health condition, religion or belief, political or other opinion, family status, maternity
(pregnancy) or paternity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, social origin, financial
status, part-time nature of employment legal relationship or other legal relationship
relating to employment, or fixed period thereof, belonging to an interest representation
organisation, any other situation, attribute or condition of a p erson or group) or the field
concerned (e.g. employment, education, access to goods). In addition to the authorisations
required by the Racial Equality Directive, the Authority is vested with the right to imp ose
severe sanctions on persons and entities that violate th e ban on discrimination.
b) Political, economic and social context of the designated body
As far as the general attitude to equality and diversity is concerned, it can be said that
Hungarian society has become largely suspicious of diversity, mainly as a result of the
current Hungarian Governm ent’s persistent campaign against liberal democratic values,
emphasis on the majoritarian elements of democracy and repeated denunciation of
minority protection.
In February 2018, at a meeting for municipal leaders, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
expressly rejected diversity:
206 Government Decree 362/2004 on the Equal Treatment Authority and the Detailed Rules of its Procedure
(362/2004. (XII. 26.) Korm. rendelet az Egyenl Bánásmód Hatóságról és eljárásának részletes

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