Reverse Discrimination in EC Law
This work is a study of the problem of reverse discrimination in EC law. In particular, the question that this book aims to answer is whether reverse discrimination emerging in the context of the Community’s internal market policy, is still a permissible form of differential treatment in the Community. The term ‘discrimination’ always has a negative connotation. Discrimination is not, merely, differential treatment. It is differential treatment of similar situations that is not justified. It is the use of the term in the context of antidiscrimination law and, in particular, that of sex and racial equality, that is mostly known amongst laymen. In the twentieth century, as a result of the action of various political and human rights movements, it became generally acknowledged that it is inherently bad to differentiate between groups of persons, if the only ground on which the differential treatment is based is an immutable characteristic such as sex, colour or race. It is considered to be blatantly wrong to treat a group of persons more harshly than others, just because they possess a characteristic which cannot be changed and for which they cannot be held responsible. It is only if the differentiation is grounded on some other (acceptable) criterion and merely happens to disadvantage a particular group of persons who share a certain characteristic, that is considered to be justified and thus can escape the characterization of ‘discrimination’. Certain characteristics are the ‘usual suspects’ for turning instances of differential treatment into discrimination; in other words, persons who carry those characteristics usually form a group which is ‘expected’ to be discriminated against, even though this is totally wrong.