Coordination at national level

AuthorKarin de Vries
For various (legislative) procedures and the development of policies, frequent co-operation
exists between the Ministries of the Interior and Kingdom Relations; Social Affairs and
Employment; Education, Culture and Science; Health, W elfare and Sport; and Justice and
Security. For some specific projects other ministries may be involved. The division of tasks
is organised in the following way:
1. Equal treatment in employment: (int er alia: GETA, ADA, DDA and Equal Tr eatment
Act Men/Women): Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.
2. Age discrimination in employment: Ministry of Social Affairs an d Employment.
3. General policies against racism: Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.
4. Disability discrimination: Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.
5. General Equal Treatment Act, Constitutional provisions, general coordination of anti-
discrimination policies: Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.
6. Criminal law p rovisions regarding discrimination, anti-discrimination policies for the
police/public prosecution: Ministry of Justice and Security.
7. Emancipation policies for women and LGBT people: Ministry of Education, Culture and
The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations co-ordinates all the legislative activities
because it is responsible for the implementation of the Constitution, which in Article 1
contains a general non-discrimination provision.
The anti-discrimination policies are also coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior and
Kingdom Relations. The Ministry is responsible for municipal anti -discrimination services.
The latest National Action Programme against Discrimination was pu blished in January
2016.348 Basically, this action programme brings together u nder a single umbrella various
existing programmes and plans to combat discrimination and exclusion, such as the
programmes mentioned above. It thus seeks: to achieve a better overall view and strategy
across all grounds of discrimination, including but not limited to those covered by the EU
directives; to c reate more syn ergy; and to improve cooperation between all the
stakeholders involved.
With this programme the Government intends to respond to the current social context
characterised by increasing tensions between ‘various groups’, as it is formulat ed, which
calls for a clear message from the Government to combat exclusion and discrimination and
improve cohesion. Which groups are meant is not sp ecified.349 The programme identifies
four main starting points: prevention and awareness-raising to promote an inclusive
society, including the promotion of diversity in the labour market and combating
stereotypes; strengthening cooperation and infrastructure to combat discrimination;
paying more attention to policies and action at the local level; and supporting policies and
actions through interdisciplinary knowledge and research on the causes of discrimination
and the effectiveness of interventions.
347 Emancipation is not defined, but in recent periods emphasis has been placed on promoting the norms and
values of gender equality and LGBTI rights, including for women a focus on economic independence,
‘women to the top’ and a socially safe environment, and for LGBTI people social acceptance, in particular in
bicultural and religious communities. See Minister of Education, Culture and Science, 20 January 2017,
Opbrengsten Emancipatiebeleid 2013-2017 (‘Results of Emancipation policy 2013-2017):
348 Nat¡onaal Actieprogramma tegen discriminatie (National action programme against discrimination), Tweede
Kamer, 2015-2016, 30 950, no. 84.
349 Nat¡onaal Actieprogramma tegen discriminatie (National action programme against discrimination), Tweede
Kamer, 2015-2016, 30 950, no. 84.

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