Law of the European Union

Poland as a member of the European Union is obliged to apply community law. Pursuant to the article 6 of the Treaty on European Union a Member State of the European Union should respect, among other things, the following values: liberty, democracy and human rights.

In compliance with the provisions laid down in the Treaty Establishing the European Union an appropriate action may be taken to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation (article 13 para. 1).

The Polish legal system has partly adopted Equality Directives. The Race Equality Directive (2000/43/EC) implements the principle of equal treatment irrespective of racial or ethnic origin and gives protection against discrimination in employment and training, education, social protection and access to goods and services. The Employment Equality Directive (2000/78/EC) implements the principle of equal treatment in employment and training irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union should be mentioned here as well. Pursuant to the provisions laid down in the Charter everyone is equal before the law (article 20) and any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited (article 21). Moreover, the Charter states that the Union shall respect cultural, religious and linguistic diversity (article 22). The document also introduces the principle of equality between men and women in all areas, including employment, work and pay (article 23).