- Article 12 TEC forbids any discrimination on the grounds of nationality (Photo: European Commission)
Article 10 TFEU allows actions to combat discrimination "based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation".
Article 18 forbids any discrimination based on nationality.
All Treaty Articles are supported by due rights for citizens in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Discrimination is forbidden by Article 21 and 22 in the Charter.
Incentive measures can be decided by qualified majority vote in the Council and co-decision with the European Parliament through the ordinary legislative procedure, see Article 19 TFEU.
A special EU agency in Vienna looks at breaches of human rights in member states.
- The EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg has used the ban on discrimination to support a female German soldier’s right to take part in military matters on the same basis as men (the Tanja Kreil case). At that time – 2000 – the military area was clearly outside the scope of the EU treaties. This did not prevent the EU Court from declaring that, under EU law, she had a fundamental right to be treated equally as a solider.
- By using this Article on discrimination it may also be possible for the Court to decide on such issues as female clergy, the right of establishment of state churches, the legalisation of abortion, gay marriage and the adoption of children by homosexual couples in various EU member countries.
- It is possible for member states to be excluded from such rules by special opt-outs (derogations) in the relevant EU treaties.
Ireland and Malta have special opt-outs (derogations) on abortion.