Goods and services (Directive 2004/113)

AuthorGenoveva Tisheva
9 Goods and services (Directive 2004/113)73
9.1 General (legal) context
9.1.1 Surveys and reports about the difficulties linked to equal access to and supply of
goods and services
There are no such relevant surveys or documents.
9.1.2 Specific problems of discrimination in the online environment / digital
market / collaborative economy
There are no specific problems of discrimination based on sex identified in this cont ext.
9.1.3 Political and societal debate
There is no substantial political and societal debate on the issue.
9.2 Prohibition of direct and indirect discrimination
Article 37 of the LPFD prohibits any refusal to supply goods or services and to supply lower
quality goods or services, or their supply under less favourable conditions, based on the
discrimination grounds defined in the law.
9.3 Material scope
The material scope of t he national law has broader material scope than that specified in
Article 3 of the Directive. N o sphere is explicitly excluded so the law also applies to the
content of the media and advertising, and to education. Article 35 LPFD requires the
application of m ethods aimed at the elimination of gender stereotyping in education and
training. Educational institutions are obliged to include gender equality education.
The case law of the Commission for Protection from Discrimination has explicitly confirmed
the application of the equal treatment principle also in the field of the media and
Nevertheless, some extreme cases of sexist advertisements brought b efore this equality
body were not properly dealt with by the institution. The outcomes were as follows: either
the equality body deferred the case t o other institutions (e.g. the Council for Electronic
Media), or it suggested that the cases are rather for the self-regulatory body on advertising
(established by businesses in 2010). Thus the institution dealing with discrimination
refused to examine the cases through a discrimination lens. The only case where the
equality body issued a decision was the case against Peshtera anisette where the outcome
was negative for the women complainants.74 The arguments that it is rather a moral issue
and that no discrimination was proved wa s upheld until the court of last instance the
Panel of five judges of the Supreme Administrative Court.75
As a matter of fact, in September 2008, 1 3 women brought a complaint of sex
discrimination against a series of advertisements for the Peshtera anise aperitif, together
with the producerз the joint stock company Vinprom Peshtera. They were entitled ‘Passion
in Crystals’ and ‘The Season of Watermelons’ and were notorious for their television, print
media and billboard versions. The advertisements displayed the ‘chalgaгa Bulgarian music
73 See e.g. Caracciolo di Torella, E. and McLellan, B., Gender equality and the collaborative economy (2018)
European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination, available at:
74 Judgment No. 201 from 15 September 2010 on case file 217/2008.
75 Judgment 3616 from 13 March 2012 on case file 12183/2011.

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