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EU law

Tryfonidou, A. (2018) EU law. In: Auchmuty, R. (ed.) Great Debates in Gender and Law. Palgrave Great Debates in Law. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 71-81. ISBN 9781137610997

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What is today the European Union began life in the 1950s as a supranational organisation comprising three Communities: the ECSC, the EEC, and Euratom. Established as a response to the catastrophe brought by the Second World War, the long-term aim of the Communities was to maintain peace and to prevent another war in Europe; their immediate objective, however, was to achieve economic integration among the participating states by building a common market. Accordingly, gender and sexuality issues were very far from the Treaty drafters’ minds back in the 1950s, when the founding Treaties of the Communities were prepared. Hence, it is not surprising that those Treaties did not make any reference to LGBT rights, nor did they include any provisions requiring equality between the sexes, bar an article which required equal pay for equal work between men and women (what is, currently, Article 157 TFEU), the rationale behind which was, at the time, mainly economic. However, equality between the sexes and the protection of LGBT rights now occupy a central position in EU law and, as a result of the introduction of mainstreaming provisions, the EU institutions are required to take these aims into account when taking action in any policy area. The two debates analysed in this chapter (a) whether discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation is a guise of discrimination on the ground of sex and b) whether pregnancy discrimination should be considered as direct discrimination on the ground of sex) demonstrate the importance that LGBT rights and the principle of equality between the sexes now occupy under EU law.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:76797
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan


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