The Bulgarian Diversity Charter joined the EU Platform of Diversity Charters Meeting, held in Brussels on 14 -15 June 2023. The event was hosted by the European Commission.
The EU Platform of Diversity Charters was created in 2010 under the initiative of and with funding from the European Commission. The Platform offers a place for existing European Diversity Charters (currently 26) to exchange and share experience and good practices more easily through Platform meetings, expert seminars and annual high-level forums. Since 2020, the Bulgarian Diversity Charter has been an active member in this EU-wide network devoted to the promotion of diversity and inclusion in Member States.
The event explored key topics and major EU policy developments that are currently shaping the diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) landscape in Europe.
Emerging topics on the DE&I agenda in Europe
The event was opened on 15 June 2023 by Anu Ritz, Policy Officer in Non-discrimination Policies and Diversity and Coordinator of the EU Platform of Diversity Charters. The first panel was dedicated to enhancing the diversity in supply chains. Mayank Shah, Founder & CEO of Minority Supplier Development UK gave a presentation outlining the importance of introducing ‘Diversity Suppliers’ which has been an emerging issue in the DE&I field as an initiative that aims to foster the inclusion of Ethnic Minority Owned Businesses (EMBs) in the supply chains across Europe. The panel discussion was enriched by presentation of promising practices of inclusion of EMBs by companies from Spain, Italy and Hungary. Mr. Shah also announced the upcoming Conference on Bussiness & Innovation Show – the premier networking event where EMBs from the UK and the EU create meaningful connections with global brands, to be held in London on 14 – 15 September 2023.
EU policy developments
On the second day of the event, the European Commission provided the Diversity Charters with an update on the most significant EU policy and law developments concerning the DE&I area. Inès Rohmer, Policy Officer in Financial Stability, presented the rules and future impact of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive which entered into force on 5 January 2023. The Directive covers a wide scope of objectives related to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), as it contributes both to the Green Deal and diversity and inclusion in employment. Particularly, it introduces the obligation for regular assessment of companies from different perspectives (environment, social and human factors, etc.) and tackles malign corporate activities such as greenwashing and social washing.
Francisco Paneda Usunariz, DG Justice & Consumers, delivered a throughout presentation on the EU efforts on promoting diversity and shrinking the gender pay gap by the European Banking Agency with the application of the Capital Requirements Directive. Vitalijus Novikovas and Audrey Neveu, Policy Officers at the European Commission, put focus on the EU legislation that strives to improve work-life balance, pay transparency and gender balance in corporate boards.
Exchange on Diversity Charters
The Diversity Charters from 26 EU Member States engaged in discussions and exchanged experience, know-how and best practices on how to successfully advance in the promotion of DE&I in private and public sectors. The Bulgarian Diversity Charter was represented by Maria Stoyanova.
Lastly, the representatives of the Diversity Charters reflected on the lessons learned and takeaways from the EU Diversity Month 2023 and set the ground for ever-closer collaboration within the network in 2023 – 2024.