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Home / Journal / Pact for Equality

We introduce the Pact for Equality, a migrant-led initiative to end all forms of racism and discrimination across the EU. 

Our principles

The EU is not the human rights example it claims to be. Discrimination and structural racism are rife – from profiling, exclusion, to violence and death – and after these elections, likely to rise for migrants*, refugees, and racialised people**.

The Pact for Equality workshop.
Credit: Isis Mecheraf

In 2022 the Fundamental Rights Agency survey on Being Black in the EU found that within a year, “racial discrimination [had] risen from 24% to 34%. It has increased the most when searching for accommodation, looking for a job, at work and in education.”

In December 2023, the EU Barometer survey found rising discrimination across the EU, most commonly due to ethnicity, race, gender identity and sexual orientation. Most instances of discrimination took place at work or in public spaces.

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Yet, our communities have never been more interconnected. Europe is becoming increasingly diverse and aware of its multiple identities and histories. We can use our connections in this crucial time to create an equal, inclusive, representative, and vibrant Europe together.

Let’s make a Europe of human rights a reality – not just a slogan. 

Acknowledge our agency and recognise our shared humanity and common values. 

Join the Pact for Equality today and join the fight for a future of equality in Europe!

Who we are

As a group of anti-racism, migration, and anti-discrimination advocates, all politically active in our communities, we mobilised our expertise to formulate the Pact for Equality’s principles and demands over two days of deliberation in Marseille, April 2024. 

This Pact is shaped by our personal experiences of exclusion and discrimination, as well as our strong links with local communities. 

Our mission statement:

“We have the privilege of speaking on behalf of ourselves and drawing attention to similar struggles faced by our communities. We want to use our skills, unique perspectives, and expertise to demand people in positions of power change the reality faced by migrants*, refugees and racialised people in Europe**, and contribute to ending all forms of discrimination.”

Maguy Ikulu, Pact for Equality advocate

Credit: Emma Grima

“En tant que femmes racisées, nous vivons deux des discriminations les plus longues et les plus universelles de l’histoire de l’humanité : les discriminations de genre et les discriminations raciales. En tant que personnes concernées, nous voulons offrir une solution concrète pour pouvoir construire, enfin, un monde égalitaire. Cette solution, c’est le Pacte pour l’Egalité. On dit que le futur est féminin, n’est-ce pas ? En vous joignant à nous, en vous joignant au Pacte pour l’égalité, vous offrez une chance à vous-même, mais aussi à l’humanité toute entière, d’avoir un avenir plus radieux.”

Christian Agbor, Pact for Equality advocate

Credit: Isis Mecheraf

“Could you imagine Europe without equality? Because millions won’t imagine it – they will live it. And it will happen under your watch.”

Sandra Alloush, Pact for Equality advocate

Credit: Isis Mecheraf

“Every human deserves their fundamental human rights, no matter where they come from, their religion, their race, their sexuality, their age. We all deserve equal rights.”

Moussa Sangare, Pact for Equality advocates

Credit: Emma Grima

“We live in a society where our rights are not equal. People are dying in the sea from our discriminatory policies, we should do something about it now. So, join our Pact for equality to ensure that Europe is for all. With this Pact, we will have equal rights and equal opportunities.”

Muhammed Jammeh, Pact for Equality advocates

Credit: Emma Grima

Our demands

Anti-discrimination and equality
  1. Expansion of equality or anti-discrimination frameworks to all EU policies 
  2. Awareness-raising and education on racism and discrimination 
  3. An EU anti-racism law that addresses the gaps in the Race Equality Directive for comprehensive protection from discrimination 
  4. Investment and incentives for Corporate Social Responsibility programmes specifically on issues on discrimination and equality
  5. Structural investment in civil society organisations, primarily those led by racialised people
  6. Mandated collection of disaggregated data, with clear and broad categories for self-identification encompassing race, ethnicity, country of origin, nationality, and religion, as well as gender, sexuality, and ability
  7. Equal and fair recognition of university degrees or technical qualifications with EU academic institutions, regardless of country of origin or sponsorship. 
Migration and Asylum
  1. Provide safe migration routes to Europe, with universal access regardless of country of origin
  2. End EU externalisation policies
  3. End deportations of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers
  4. End racial profiling at the borders and in society
  5. Equal civic, political and social rights for all migrants
  6. Complementary routes to arrival, including but not limited to expanded student and worker visas, humanitarian visas, family reunification, and private sponsorship
Democracy and citizenship
  1. The right of everyone born in the EU to acquire citizenship (jus soli)
  2. Pathways to naturalisation without racist and discriminatory criteria based on nationality, country of origin, ethnicity or race, or socio-economic status
  3. The right of everyone to acquire an EU citizenship that is not tied to a specific Member State
  4. The right to vote for all EU residents, regardless of citizenship or migration status, for local and EU elections
  5. A guarantee that EU citizenship acquired from a Member State or the EU can never be revoked, even for those with dual or multiple nationality
  6. The EU to acknowledge colonial responsibility in excluding racialised people in participative democratic system and to work towards greater inclusion, representation and (meaningful) participation
  7. A harmonised EU citizenship system and the uniform application of the 1997 Citizenship Directive

MEP Pledge 

The Pact for Equality is a commitment between civil society organisations, racialised communities, trade unions, and MEPs to engage in a regular formal dialogue process during the next five years and beyond.

We believe MEPs have the power to reverse the trend of rising hatred and discrimination in Europe, as well as address the shrinking avenues for dialogue with civil society actors and local communities in the policy-making process. 

For MEP candidates, the 2024 European Parliament elections represent a unique opportunity to reaffirm your commitment to the founding values of the Union and to its anti-discrimination framework.

By signing the Pact for Equality, once elected as an MEP I pledge to:

Reaffirm and call for a strengthening of the EU anti-discrimination framework, through an expansion of its key instruments and monitoring their proper implementation by Member States

Closely monitor developments around the current anti-discrimination framework to better address the specific challenges of structural racism and intersectional discrimination affecting both EU and non-EU citizens, across all EU policy areas (notably migration and asylum) and social groups in the Euro- Mediterranean region

Base my voting decisions on inclusive and participatory processes, primarily through consultation of individuals and movements directly impacted by racism and discrimination, as well as civil society, academia, and other relevant stakeholders providing evidence and expertise on discrimination in and by the EU

Foster a positive narrative and policy shift away from securitised, criminalising, Islamophobic and stigmatizing discourses about racialised people – regardless of citizenship – as well as the organisations, human rights defenders, and general public who act in solidarity towards these groups

Request concrete EU measures and policy changes in favour of equality, anti-discrimination, and anti-racism

Address post-colonial legacies and inequalities notably by fostering a relationship of reciprocity between the North and South of the Mediterranean

Work with national equality bodies to promote awareness of the legal means available to victims, the collection of high-quality, disaggregated data on racism and discrimination, holding national authorities accountable, and pushing for the implementation of the Directive on standards for equality bodies

Work with local authorities to promote best practices and monitor the implementation of the EU anti-discrimination framework at national level, as well as the adoption and application of national anti-racism action plans.

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