The European Commission has designated 2007 the European Year of Equal Opportunities. In a recent survey the European Commission found that disability is the only type of discrimination that more than half of the European public know is prohibited by law when hiring employees.

One recent topic discussed in the European Parliament in relation to equalities is the role of women in the workplace. A recent report suggests that helping women to reconcile the stresses and cost of motherhood should not be borne by business but by society as a whole. The report also suggested that more women in the workplace would help "growth" and "social cohesion". The employment rate for women in the EU currently stands at 55.7 percent, while the Lisbon strategy, which aimed to encourage growth in the EU, calls for 60 percent employment of women by 2010.

The four core themes of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for all will be:-

  • Rights, raising awareness of the right to equality and non-discrimination;
  • Representation, stimulating a debate on ways to increase the participation of under represented groups in society;
  • Recognition, celebrating and accommodating diversity; and
  • Respect and tolerance, promoting a more cohesive society.