Over the years we witnessed cases of discrimination that our members faced and we worked hard, with very few resources, to resolve these cases.
Today, after 25 years of Egalité’s work, we can say that we are close to full equality with the heterosexual staff and while we are overall pleased with what was accomplished, we do still have work to be done and we cannot assume that no new situations of discrimination will arise.
To that end, Egalité is launching the Egalité legal help fund that could be used by our members in case of a proven discrimination and in case they decide to pursue the EU institutions at the EU Court of Justice.
To be sure that the funding is used wisely and fairly, the Egalité Committee established the following rules for the Egalité legal help fund:
- The case will fall under Egalité’s goal of having full equality with the non-LGBTI+ staff;
- Only EU staff members (officials, temporary, contractual and retired) can apply for this support;
- In principle, the Legal Help Fund is available only to paid members. We may grant exceptions in truly special cases (e.g. newly employed staff, financial issues, etc.), but this situation should best be avoided by being/remaining a member;
- The fund, which carries a maximum amount of EUR 2.000, will be used, in part or in total, for the cases that occurred within the EU administration, related to the discriminatory behaviour, discriminatory rules and procedures or discriminatory decisions, once all internal procedures have been exhausted.
- The fund will be used only in relation to the EU Institutions and not in cases against EU Member States, other public or private entities;
- The member will be required to present a preliminary legal analysis that indicates discrimination;
- The fund will not be used for suing EU institutions in attempt of obtaining new rights that are not granted to other staff members;
- The Egalité Committee shall take decisions on access to the Help Fund and amounts granted on the basis of the following criteria: the solidity of the legal arguments supporting the case, the wider benefits for LGBTI+ staff of winning the case; the expected costs of the procedure for the staff member, the possibility of collecting additional funding through fundraising and the amounts available in the Help Fund. The total of the contribution of the Help Fund and the amounts raised by fundraising organised by Egalité may in no case exceed the expected costs of the procedure for the staff member. In case several requests are pending, the Egalité Committee shall not be bound by the order of introduction of those requests.
If you believe your case falls under these criteria please follow these steps;
- Prepare the documentation, including an estimate of the costs of the procedure and a preliminary legal analysis supporting your intention to bring a legal challenge against the EU institutions
- and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- The Egalité Committee will evaluate your request within two weeks and decide whether your case will be supported by Egalité or not;
- If decision is positive, Egalité will give you access to the Help Fund in amount that will be decided by the Egalité Committee;
- Additionally, Egalité could organize a fundraising campaign to gather additional funding, while at the same time protecting privacy of the person in question.
If the legal case is won, the ECJ will reimburse the costs of legal fees and consequently the member will be asked to reimburse Egalité. The funds must then return into the Egalité Help Fund.