chapter  7
30 Pages

Negotiating Equality and Diversity in Britain: Towards a Differentiated Citizenship?

The promotion of diversity has emerged as a central political priority within Europe over the last few years. While the concept of equality has been central to the European Union’s legal order, with the Charter of Fundamental Rights enshrining a range of equality principles (Shaw 2005), the concept of diversity has recently also been explicitly recognised in the EC Treaty: Article 149 EC protects the ‘cultural and linguistic diversity’ of the educational systems of the member states, whilst Article 151 EC calls upon the Union to respect the ‘national and regional diversity’ of member states (Shaw 2005). Additionally, the European Union now recognises, in Article 13 EC, six key characteristics as requiring measures to combat discrimination: sex, racial and ethnic origin, disability, age, religion and sexual orientation.