Perceived levels of age and disability discrimination have risen sharply in the past year across Europe, a European Commission survey has revealed.
It found that 58% of European Union residents surveyed felt age discrimination was widespread in their country, up from 42% in a similar survey last year.
On disability, 53% thought discrimination was widespread, compared with 45% in 2008.
A number of respondents linked rising discrimination to the economic downturn. Some 64% thought the crisis would lead to an increase in age discrimination, while 56% thought it would fuel disability discrimination.
Half thought equality and diversity policies would be seen as less important or would be less well funded as a result of the economic crisis.
Among UK citizens, 61% thought age discrimination was widespread – above the EU average – while 50% thought disability discrimination widespread, below the continental average.
Of disabled people surveyed, 69% thought discrimination against the group was widespread; 33% had been victims of discrimination in the previous 12 months, up from 31% in 2008.