Report on ‘Reasonable accommodation beyond disability in Europe’

In February 2014, the European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-discrimination field published  thematic report entitled Reasonable accommodation beyond disability in Europe?.

The authors, Emmanuelle Bribosia and Isabelle Rorive, provide an extensive analysis of the concept of reasonable accommodation, which implies that an accommodation of the physical, social or normative environment is sometimes necessary to allow individuals with certain personal characteristics to access opportunities, goods and services on an equal footing with those who do not possess the specific characteristic. Under EU law the duty to provide such accommodation is currently limited to the ground of disability, and the authors examine to what extent it can be and has been extended to other grounds of discrimination.

The report demonstrates how the concept was developed in the United States and in Canada before analysing the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights as well as EU law. Finally, the authors examine how some EU Member States already impose a duty to accommodate other grounds than disability, such as race/ethnic origin and religion or belief. Based on their extensive analysis of the duty as it has been conceptualised in North American and European law, the authors provide an analysis of how reasonable accommodation can be successful beyond the ground of disability.