The EU approach to intersectional discrimination in law

Authored by: Iyiola Solanke

The Routledge Handbook of Gender and EU Politics

Print publication date:  March  2021
Online publication date:  March  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138485259
eBook ISBN: 9781351049955
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



The principle of non-discrimination has been part of the DNA of European integration since the 1957 Treaty of Rome creating the European Economic Community (EEC). This treaty contained just two relevant provisions: Article 12 of the EEC Treaty (now Article 18 TFEU) on nationality and Article 119 of the EEC Treaty (now Article 157 TFEU) on equal pay between women and men. Both were introduced as mechanisms to support the creation of the common (now single) market: non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality is the fundamental principle underpinning the four freedoms – free movement of goods, persons, services and capital – while non-discrimination on the grounds of gender was intended to prevent any national economic advantage based on the exploitation of women. As such, it was more a market measure than a tool to promote equality between the sexes (van der Vleuten 2007). A first directive giving substance to this provision was created in 1976 – Council Directive 76/207/EEC on access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions. It required decades of case law and significant activism to give substance to the prevention of gender discrimination in EU law (Solanke 2009a; see also Guth and Elfving in this volume).

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.