EU chiefs ‘IGNORE’ ethnic minority staff ‘despite promoting multiculturalism’

Massive EU institutions like the European Commission focus on the nationality, age and sex of staff but completely ignore their ethnic background and religion.

This is despite the EU’s stance against discrimination and its policies to boost diversity.

Statistics published by the Politico website show minorities make up just one per cent of EU institutions.

By comparison, around one in ten people living in the bloc are thought to be from an ethnic minority background.

Part of the reason for the EU’s deliberate colour blindness stems from countries like France where there is huge opposition to compiling statistics on race.

But critics say that has led the bloc to become a “bubble” for rich white people and no longer reflects the continent it purports to represent.

British Conservative MEP Syed Kamall said there was a clear divide between those high up in Brussels and the staff performing low-level jobs.

He told the site: “If you want to see diversity in the European institutions, look at the faces of the cleaners leaving the building early in the morning and contrast that with the white MEPs and officials entering.”

One MEP’s assistant, Rachael Moore, even accused politicians at the European Parliament of ignoring her as one of the few “black faces” and claimed she was subjected to security checks for no good reason.

She said: “It’s like I am not even there — they just look straight at my boss.

“They don’t look or reply to me when I ask a question. I get looks like ‘you’re not supposed to be here’.”

She went on: “I don’t sound like anything in particular on the surface. 

“There is shock, a blank stare when they see me for the first time. It plays on my daily life.”

And Sarah Chander from the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) told Politico there was an “audacity” in Brussels where “every single one” of those promoting multiculturalism were white.

She said: “Many working in the Brussels bubble feel that working on progressive issues gives them a sense of immunity for the overwhelming whiteness of their institutions and organisations.”

It is not the first time concerns have been raised about a lack of representation in the EU corridors of power.

The ENAR penned a letter to Jean Claude-Junker earlier this year calling for changes to its diversity strategy.

It came after the Commission published a new policy on boosting the number of women, people with disabilities and LGBT staff working at its buildings, but ignored their race.

The letter said: “The European Commission has been widely criticised for under-representation of racial, ethnic and religious minorities within its workforce. 

“Many commentators have argued that the European Commission must better reflect the diversity of the European society. 

“Particularly at senior levels, the issue of under-representation is acute. 

“This points to a trend of structural discrimination within the European Commission and jeopardises the equal inclusion of racial, ethnic and religious minority staff.”

But last year Alexander Winterstein, deputy chief spokesman for the Commission, defended its policies.

He claimed: “If you walk through our corridors you will see people from all walks of life, from all over Europe.”