European Testing Campaign 2016

Alarming racial discriminations on the Labour Market across Europe


No less than 11%, up to 84% of applicants racially discriminated against in the job market: the alarming peaks

From January to April 2016, the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement has conducted in nine countries a European Testing campaign to evaluate the levels of racial discrimination in the job market. The 2016 European Situation Testing Campaign on Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market was carried out by EGAM, with the involvement of the following organizations : ZARA (Austria), Mrax (Belgium), Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (Bulgaria), Czech Helsinki Committee (Czech Republic), SOS Mod Racism (Denmark), SOS Racisme (France), Amadeu Antonio Stiftung (Germany), Netzwerk Rassismus-und Diskriminierungsfreies Bayern e.V. (Germany), SOS Razzismo (Italy), Youth Initiative for Human Rights Kosovo (Kosovo), Civic Alliance (Montenegro), Youth Initiative for Human Rights Serbia (Serbia), Ekvilib Institute (Slovenia), Malmo Mot Diskriminering (Sweden), IHD – Human Rights Association (Turkey), The Institute of Partnership and Sustainable Development (Ukraine).

Contact person, responsible for research in Ukraine, expert of IPSD: Olena Berezhniuk

The results, presented in the graphic below, show alarming peaks:

(с) EGAM

Racial discrimination is illegal and represents a fundamental breach in the core values of equality and liberty which are supposed to lie at the heart of our democracies.

In a time of social crisis, it makes it even harder for some individuals to find work only because of their backgrounds, and pushes them to the margins of our societies, a situation which is often and perversely reproached to them.


These results, however high, are not entirely a surprise, since racism has been spreading with increasing permissiveness in recent years all over Europe at the political level, by some opinion leaders as well as in the general population, and since the action by civil society and by the national and European institutions has not been determined enough to fight this phenomenon.


Whatever our positions, it is our responsibility to act to make our societies more just.


Therefore, EGAM urges the various stakeholders concerned to vigorously take action, in the following ways:

The NGOs:

  • To launch antidiscrimination campaigns, for example by using Testing.

  • To file complaints against the individuals and institutions responsible for discrimination.

  • To build antidiscrimination departments in order to support victims.

  • To educate to antidiscrimination, including through formal and informal education.


The local and national authorities:

  •  To fund NGOs for them to conduct antidiscrimination campaigns.

  •  To exclude from all calls for tender companies condemned for discrimination.

  •  To organize antidiscrimination training sessions for civil servants, especially among the judicial authorities and the police.

  •  For the governments, to adopt a penal policy urging the courts to carefully pay attention to discrimination cases.

The companies:

  • To organize antidiscrimination training sessions for the employees.

  • To fund NGOs so that they organize Testing campaigns on them.


The parliaments:

  •  To adopt, when it is not the case yet, laws recognizing the Testing as an evidence of discrimination in court, as well as enhanced antidiscrimination laws.


The European institutions:

  •  To fund NGOs for them to conduct antidiscrimination campaigns.

  •  To ask the States, following the example of the National strategies for integration of Roma people, to present and implement clear strategies to fight racial discrimination.

  •  To condition European subsidies to States to the seriousness of their actions to fight racial discrimination, and to exclude subsidies to companies which have been condemned for discrimination.

 Contact Person:

Christopher Metz, Project Manager

Telephone: +33783312847 / Email:


Annex 1: Methodology


9 countries across Europe participated in the 2015/16 European Testing Campaign.

Preparation of materials

For each job offer, two very similar applications (CVs, cover letters) were sent.

The only difference was the ethnicity marker, identified through the names, the languages spoken and/or the photo used.

Submission of applications

Applications were submitted to vacancies within the private sector, with a focus on service industry positions.

Between each application submission, there was a delay of at least one working day for the same vacancy in order to reduce risk of detection. Each vacancy was only tested once.

In all the participating countries, at least 30 sets of applications, meaning a minimum of 60 applications were submitted.

Recording results

All data collected from responses was recorded, noting the following criteria: response for majority group, response for target group, and result (discrimination or no discrimination).

Processing of results

In order to determine the percentage of discrimination, any result where one CV received a positive response and the other received either no response or a rejection was counted as showing discrimination.


Annex 2: Table of Results

*Italy sent a total of 30 tests, testing a variety of target groups – the largest number of tests (14) were sent for the target group from Sub-Saharan Africa