European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)





Personal details

Education; academic and other qualifications

Law degrees from the United States and Sweden; degree in political science.

Professional activities

(a) Present position

Head of Equality Promotion at the Office of the Swedish Equality Ombudsman.

(b) Work at national level

In 2003 – 2005, Paul Lappalainen was one of the first foreign born citizens in Sweden to be appointed to head a government inquiry (“The Blue and Yellow Glass House: Structural Discrimination in Sweden”), which analysed structural discrimination and racism in Sweden and concluded with a number of proposals focused on changing the behaviour of employers, unions, politicians and civil servants.

He has experience as a civil servant, a lawyer, an NGO-activist and a local politician.

(c) International work

In 2000-2004, he was the Swedish member of two of the EU-Commission’s independent expert groups concerning implementation of the EU anti-discrimination directives. The groups covered ethnicity and religion, and disability.
He is a scientific advisor to UNESCO’s European Coalition of Cities Against Racism.