The European Union is not able to legally measure the success of its own diversity quotas thanks to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules, leaked messages appear to show.
As part of its “Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Action Plan 2023-2024”, the EC said it wanted to “better attract, support and include ethnic minority staff so that our own workforce better reflects the societies we serve”.
According to emails sent to Identity and Democracy Group MEP Gunnar Beck, it appears that the success or otherwise of this goal may be not be quantifiable. The EC has told the parliamentarian it could not disclose the ethnicities of those working for the body as it does not record them.
“This kind of personal data is considered to be sensitive and the processing of it is, as a general rule, forbidden under the GDPR,” an EC official claimed.
Speaking to Brussels Signal, Beck expressed concern that the bloc had set itself a hiring goal despite its success being legally unmeasurable.
“The European Commission wants to hire more people from religious and ethnic minorities. However, nowhere during the hiring process [are] people’s religion or ethnicity … registered because of privacy rules,” the German MEP said.
“If that is really the case, how does the Commission even know that Muslims and people of non-European origin are underrepresented in its ranks?
“And also: how can the success of the action plan be judged if the proportion of ethnic minorities in the total workforce cannot be measured?” he added.
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— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) November 22, 2023
Beck went on to criticise what he called the lack of transparency shown by the EC, accusing the body of either not being open about the data it keeps or setting “nonsensical” goals for itself.
“The Commission wants more diversity but doesn’t want to measure it,” he said.
“Here, either important information is being kept secret, or the Commission is pursuing ‘woke’ ideological goals without knowing why or for what purpose.
“According to its own information, the Commission is not at all in a position to determine when its objectives would be achieved,” Beck concluded.
Responding to Brussels Signal, the European Commission said that it was using voluntary surveys to examine the level of diversity amongst its staff.
However, the body acknowledged that the results of these surveys were likely not representative, and could not be used to ascertain the demographic makeup of its workforce.
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— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) July 18, 2023