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Despite being required by EU law, the role, structure and resourcing of equality bodies are surrounded by debate and controversy. These debates have been intensified by economic pressures which have caused governments throughout Europe to scrutinise public spending, including on equality bodies, with a view to making efficiency savings or cuts. At the same time, responses to economic recession threaten to increase inequality and thus to increase the need for vigilant and effective equality bodies.
This book provides a space for the detailed exploration of issues such as these. Given the current concern with achieving value for money, questions relating to the impact and effectiveness of equality bodies are given particular prominence. Much of the discussion has relevance to national human rights institutions as well as equality bodies and to countries outside Europe as well as within it.
This volume brings together experts at the cutting-edge of this topic – both from practice and from academia. Indeed, the majority of the authors have held key positions in equality bodies and have published extensively in the field. The book thus blends reflection enriched by practice and academic scholarship and, in so doing, offers an important and unique contribution to on-going political debate.