BETA


2016/0062(NLE) Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

Progress: Preparatory phase in Parliament

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead LIBE SPUREK Sylwia (icon: S&D S&D)
Former Responsible Committee LIBE REVAULT D'ALLONNES BONNEFOY Christine (icon: S&D S&D)
Former Responsible Committee LIBE CORAZZA BILDT Anna Maria (icon: PPE PPE), REVAULT D'ALLONNES BONNEFOY Christine (icon: S&D S&D)
Former Responsible Committee FEMM CORAZZA BILDT Anna Maria (icon: PPE PPE), REVAULT D'ALLONNES BONNEFOY Christine (icon: S&D S&D)
Committee Opinion JURI
Committee Opinion FEMM KOKALARI Arba (icon: EPP EPP)
Former Committee Opinion JURI MAŠTÁLKA Jiří (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Former Committee Opinion JURI MAŠTÁLKA Jiří (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Former Committee Opinion FEMM CORAZZA BILDT Anna Maria (icon: PPE PPE)
Legal Basis:
TFEU 082-p2, TFEU 084, TFEU 218-p6a

Events

2019/09/30
   EP - KOKALARI Arba (EPP) appointed as rapporteur in FEMM
2019/09/04
   EP - SPUREK Sylwia (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in LIBE
2018/02/21
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2017/09/12
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2017/09/12
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 489 votes to 114, with 69 abstentions, a resolution on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, by the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

Members recalled that gender-based violence should be treated as a serious and urgent issue as it concerns more than 250 million women and girls in the EU alone.

Some groups of women and girls, such as migrant women, women refugees and asylum seekers, women and girls with disabilities, LBTI women and Roma women, are at risk of multiple discrimination and are therefore even more vulnerable to violence.

Condemning all forms of violence against women, Parliament welcomed the signing of the EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention on 13 June 2017. It urged the Estonian Presidency to speed up the EU’s ratification of the Convention , the first comprehensive legally binding international instrument on preventing and combating violence against women and gender-based violence, including domestic violence.

Members stressed that the EU’s accession to the Convention will ensure a coherent European legal framework to prevent and combat violence against women and gender-based violence and to protect and support victims in the EU’s internal and external policies.

Parliament invited the Council, the Commission and the Member States to take account of a series of recommendations, including:

initiating a constructive dialogue with the Council and Member States, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, so as to address reservations, objections and concerns expressed by Member States, and in particular to clarify misleading interpretations of the Istanbul Convention; keeping Parliament fully informed at all stages of the negotiations and ensuring that it is involved in the monitoring process of the Convention; ensuring that Member States ensure the proper application of the Convention and allocate adequate financial resources to preventing and combating violence against women; drawing up a holistic EU strategy on combating violence against women and gender-based violence; designating an EU Coordinator to act as representative of the EU to the Committee of the Parties at the Council of Europe once the Istanbul Convention is ratified by the EU; producing practical guidelines and strategies for the application of the Istanbul Convention; taking the necessary measures pursuant to Articles 60 and 61 of the Convention on migration and asylum, taking into account the fact that migrant women and girls have the right to live free from violence.

The Commission was also called upon to:

present a legal act to support Member States in their efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women; revise the EU framework decision currently in force on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law, in order to include sexism, bias crime and incitement to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.

Lastly, Parliament called for the creation of a European Monitoring Observatory on gender-based violence.

Documents
2017/09/11
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2017/07/19
   EP - Committee interim report tabled for plenary
Details

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, together with the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, adopted the interim report by Anna Maria CORAZZA BILDT (EPP, SE) and Christine REVAULT D'ALLONNES BONNEFOY (S&D, FR) on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, by the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

The committee asked the Estonian Presidency to speed up the ratification by the Union of the Istanbul Convention , stressing that the accession of the Union to the Convention will ensure the establishment of a coherent European legal framework to prevent and combat violence against women and gender-based violence

While welcoming the signing of EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention on 13 June 2017, Members regretted the fact that the limitation to two areas, namely matters relating to judicial cooperation in criminal matters and those related to asylum and non-refoulement, raised legal uncertainties as to the scope of the EU’s accession.

The report invited the Council, the Commission and the Member States to take account of a series of recommendations , including:

initiating a constructive dialogue with the Council and Member States, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, so as to address reservations, objections and concerns expressed by Member States, and in particular to clarify misleading interpretations of the Istanbul Convention; keeping Parliament fully informed at all stages of the negotiations and ensuring that it is involved in the monitoring process of the Convention; ensuring that Member States ensure the proper application of the Convention and allocate adequate financial resources to preventing and combating violence against women; drawing up a holistic EU strategy on combating violence against women and gender-based violence; designating an EU Coordinator to act as representative of the EU to the Committee of the Parties at the Council of Europe once the Istanbul Convention is ratified by the EU; producing practical guidelines and strategies for the application of the Istanbul Convention; taking the necessary measures pursuant to Articles 60 and 61 of the Convention on migration and asylum , taking into account the fact that migrant women and girls have the right to live free from violence.

Members also called on the Commission to present a legal act to support Member States in their efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and to set up a European Monitoring Observatory on gender-based violence.

For its part, the Council should activate the passerelle clause by adopting a unanimous decision to identify violence against women and girls (and other forms of gender-based violence) as an area of crime under Article 83(1) TFEU.

Documents
2017/07/11
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2017/05/31
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2017/05/11
   CSL - Council Meeting
2017/03/24
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2016/12/08
   PL_SENATE - Contribution
Documents
2016/12/08
   PL_SENATE - Contribution
Documents
2016/10/04
   EP - MAŠTÁLKA Jiří (GUE/NGL) appointed as rapporteur in JURI
2016/07/07
   RO_CHAMBER - Contribution
Documents
2016/07/07
   RO_CHAMBER - Contribution
Documents
2016/05/24
   EP - CORAZZA BILDT Anna Maria (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in LIBE
2016/05/24
   EP - REVAULT D'ALLONNES BONNEFOY Christine (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in LIBE
2016/05/24
   EP - CORAZZA BILDT Anna Maria (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in FEMM
2016/05/24
   EP - REVAULT D'ALLONNES BONNEFOY Christine (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in FEMM
2016/05/24
   EP - MAŠTÁLKA Jiří (GUE/NGL) appointed as rapporteur in JURI
2016/05/24
   EP - CORAZZA BILDT Anna Maria (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in FEMM
2016/04/25
   EP - REVAULT D'ALLONNES BONNEFOY Christine (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in LIBE
2016/03/04
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2016/03/04
   Preparatory document
Details

PURPOSE: to conclude, by the European Union, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

PROPOSED ACT: Council Decision.

ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Council may adopt the act only if Parliament has given its consent to the act.

BACKGROUND: the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence was adopted on 7 April 2011 and it came into force on 1 August 2014. As of 1 February 2016, 12 EU Member States have ratified the Convention, and 25 Member States have signed it.

The Convention is the first international instrument aiming to eliminate violence against women, including girls under the age of 18 , as a root cause of persisting inequality between men and women, by setting up a comprehensive framework of legal and policy measures to prevent violence against women and protect and assist victims of such violence.

Equality between men and women is a fundamental value and objective of the European Union, as recognised in the Treaties:

the EU has taken firm positions on the need to eradicate violence against women and is funding specific campaigns and grass-roots projects to combat it; existing legislation in the areas of protection of crime victims, children’s sexual exploitation and abuse, asylum and migration takes account of the particular needs of victims of gender based violence.

Despite the efforts at both national and EU level, the extent of violence against women is still a matter of serious concern :

according to a survey by the Fundamental Rights Agency published in 2014, one in three women in the EU has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15, one in twenty women has been raped, 75 % of women in qualified professions or top management have been victims of sexual harassment, and one in ten women has experienced stalking or sexual harassment through new technologies; the European Institute for Gender Equality estimates that gender-based violence against women generates costs in the EU of approximately EUR 226 billion per year.

The Convention’s approach is fully in line with the Union’s multifaceted approach to the phenomenon of gender-based violence and the thrust of measures in place through internal and external EU policies. The Commission considered that the conclusion of the Convention would send a strong political message about the EU’s commitment to combating violence against women, create coherence between its internal and external action, as well as complementarity between national and EU levels, and reinforce its credibility and accountability towards its international partners.

CONTENT: under this draft Decision, the Council is called upon to approve, on behalf of the Union, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

The Convention creates a comprehensive legal framework to protect women and girls against all forms of violence. It seeks to prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against them, including domestic violence. It covers a broad range of measures from data-collection and awareness-raising to legal measures on criminalising different forms of violence against women. It includes measures for the protection of victims and the provision of support services, and addresses the gender-based violence dimension in matters of asylum and migration.

The Convention obliges Parties:

to condemn all forms of discrimination by ensuring that the principle of equality between men and women is applied in their legal orders and it is made clear that positive action may be taken; to ensure that state actors refrain from engaging in any act of violence and to exercise due diligence so that acts of violence committed by non-state actors are prevented, investigated and punished, and that reparation be provided for such acts. The Convention explicitly applies in times of peace and in situations of armed conflict.

With respect to matters falling within the Union’s competence, the Commission shall represent the Union at meetings of the bodies created by the Convention. In particular, the Commission shall select, propose and participate in the nomination of experts to the Group of experts on action against violence against women and domestic violence (‘GREVIO’), on behalf of the Union.

The Commission and the Member States shall cooperate closely, in particular as far as questions of monitoring, reporting, voting arrangements and the functioning of the coordinating body referred to in Article 10 of the Convention are concerned.

Documents

Activities

Votes

A8-0266/2017 - Christine Revault d'Allonnes Bonnefoy et Anna Maria Corazza Bildt - Résolution 12/09/2017 13:10:55.000

2017/09/12 Outcome: +: 489, -: 114, 0: 69
DE ES IT FR RO PT SE BE CZ AT NL BG GB EL DK FI IE EE CY LU HR SI LT HU SK MT LV PL
Total
84
49
60
67
29
21
19
20
20
17
24
15
62
18
12
12
9
5
5
5
11
6
11
16
13
6
7
49
icon: S&D S&D
176

Netherlands S&D

3

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Cyprus S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Croatia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

3

Latvia S&D

Against (1)

1
icon: PPE PPE
193

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Cyprus PPE

1

Luxembourg PPE

3

Croatia PPE

Abstain (1)

5

Slovenia PPE

Against (1)

3

Lithuania PPE

For (1)

3
6
icon: ALDE ALDE
59

Romania ALDE

3

Portugal ALDE

1

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

United Kingdom ALDE

1

Denmark ALDE

2

Ireland ALDE

Abstain (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

2

Croatia ALDE

2

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
46

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

3

Cyprus GUE/NGL

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
45

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Italy Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Belgium Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Croatia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Slovenia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Hungary Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: EFDD EFDD
33

Germany EFDD

Against (1)

1

France EFDD

1

Sweden EFDD

2

Lithuania EFDD

Against (1)

1

Poland EFDD

1
icon: NI NI
15

Germany NI

Against (1)

2

France NI

2

United Kingdom NI

Against (2)

Abstain (1)

3

Hungary NI

2

Poland NI

2
icon: ECR ECR
68

Italy ECR

2

Czechia ECR

2

Netherlands ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

For (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Greece ECR

For (1)

1

Finland ECR

Against (1)

2

Cyprus ECR

1

Croatia ECR

Against (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

Against (1)

1

Slovakia ECR

For (1)

3

Latvia ECR

Against (1)

1
icon: ENF ENF
37

Romania ENF

Abstain (1)

1

Belgium ENF

Abstain (1)

1

Netherlands ENF

4

United Kingdom ENF

Against (1)

1

Poland ENF

2
AmendmentsDossier
353 2016/0062(NLE)
2017/04/05 JURI 35 amendments...
source: 602.913
2017/05/11 LIBE, FEMM 318 amendments...
source: 603.111

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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        • date: 2016-03-04T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2016/0111/COM_COM(2016)0111_EN.pdf title: COM(2016)0111 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2016&nu_doc=0111 title: EUR-Lex type: Document attached to the procedure body: EC
        • date: 2017-03-24T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE601.176 title: PE601.176 type: Committee draft report body: EP
        • date: 2017-05-31T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE601.097&secondRef=02 title: PE601.097 committee: JURI type: Committee opinion body: EP
        • date: 2018-02-21T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=30118&j=0&l=en title: SP(2017)780 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
        • date: 2016-07-07T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2016)0109 title: COM(2016)0109 type: Contribution body: RO_CHAMBER
        • date: 2016-12-08T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2016)0109 title: COM(2016)0109 type: Contribution body: PL_SENATE
        • date: 2016-07-07T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2016)0111 title: COM(2016)0111 type: Contribution body: RO_CHAMBER
        • date: 2016-12-08T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2016)0111 title: COM(2016)0111 type: Contribution body: PL_SENATE
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        • date: 2016-03-04T00:00:00 type: Legislative proposal published body: EC docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2016/0109/COM_COM(2016)0109_EN.pdf title: COM(2016)0109 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2016&nu_doc=0109 title: EUR-Lex summary: PURPOSE: to conclude, by the European Union, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. PROPOSED ACT: Council Decision. ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Council may adopt the act only if Parliament has given its consent to the act. BACKGROUND: the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence was adopted on 7 April 2011 and it came into force on 1 August 2014. As of 1 February 2016, 12 EU Member States have ratified the Convention, and 25 Member States have signed it. The Convention is the first international instrument aiming to eliminate violence against women, including girls under the age of 18 , as a root cause of persisting inequality between men and women, by setting up a comprehensive framework of legal and policy measures to prevent violence against women and protect and assist victims of such violence. Equality between men and women is a fundamental value and objective of the European Union, as recognised in the Treaties: the EU has taken firm positions on the need to eradicate violence against women and is funding specific campaigns and grass-roots projects to combat it; existing legislation in the areas of protection of crime victims, children’s sexual exploitation and abuse, asylum and migration takes account of the particular needs of victims of gender based violence. Despite the efforts at both national and EU level, the extent of violence against women is still a matter of serious concern : according to a survey by the Fundamental Rights Agency published in 2014, one in three women in the EU has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15, one in twenty women has been raped, 75 % of women in qualified professions or top management have been victims of sexual harassment, and one in ten women has experienced stalking or sexual harassment through new technologies; the European Institute for Gender Equality estimates that gender-based violence against women generates costs in the EU of approximately EUR 226 billion per year. The Convention’s approach is fully in line with the Union’s multifaceted approach to the phenomenon of gender-based violence and the thrust of measures in place through internal and external EU policies. The Commission considered that the conclusion of the Convention would send a strong political message about the EU’s commitment to combating violence against women, create coherence between its internal and external action, as well as complementarity between national and EU levels, and reinforce its credibility and accountability towards its international partners. CONTENT: under this draft Decision, the Council is called upon to approve, on behalf of the Union, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The Convention creates a comprehensive legal framework to protect women and girls against all forms of violence. It seeks to prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against them, including domestic violence. It covers a broad range of measures from data-collection and awareness-raising to legal measures on criminalising different forms of violence against women. It includes measures for the protection of victims and the provision of support services, and addresses the gender-based violence dimension in matters of asylum and migration. The Convention obliges Parties: to condemn all forms of discrimination by ensuring that the principle of equality between men and women is applied in their legal orders and it is made clear that positive action may be taken; to ensure that state actors refrain from engaging in any act of violence and to exercise due diligence so that acts of violence committed by non-state actors are prevented, investigated and punished, and that reparation be provided for such acts. The Convention explicitly applies in times of peace and in situations of armed conflict. With respect to matters falling within the Union’s competence, the Commission shall represent the Union at meetings of the bodies created by the Convention. In particular, the Commission shall select, propose and participate in the nomination of experts to the Group of experts on action against violence against women and domestic violence (‘GREVIO’), on behalf of the Union. The Commission and the Member States shall cooperate closely, in particular as far as questions of monitoring, reporting, voting arrangements and the functioning of the coordinating body referred to in Article 10 of the Convention are concerned.
        • date: 2017-07-11T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
        • date: 2017-07-19T00:00:00 type: Committee interim report tabled for plenary body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2017-0266&language=EN title: A8-0266/2017 summary: The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, together with the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, adopted the interim report by Anna Maria CORAZZA BILDT (EPP, SE) and Christine REVAULT D'ALLONNES BONNEFOY (S&D, FR) on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, by the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The committee asked the Estonian Presidency to speed up the ratification by the Union of the Istanbul Convention , stressing that the accession of the Union to the Convention will ensure the establishment of a coherent European legal framework to prevent and combat violence against women and gender-based violence While welcoming the signing of EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention on 13 June 2017, Members regretted the fact that the limitation to two areas, namely matters relating to judicial cooperation in criminal matters and those related to asylum and non-refoulement, raised legal uncertainties as to the scope of the EU’s accession. The report invited the Council, the Commission and the Member States to take account of a series of recommendations , including: initiating a constructive dialogue with the Council and Member States, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, so as to address reservations, objections and concerns expressed by Member States, and in particular to clarify misleading interpretations of the Istanbul Convention; keeping Parliament fully informed at all stages of the negotiations and ensuring that it is involved in the monitoring process of the Convention; ensuring that Member States ensure the proper application of the Convention and allocate adequate financial resources to preventing and combating violence against women; drawing up a holistic EU strategy on combating violence against women and gender-based violence; designating an EU Coordinator to act as representative of the EU to the Committee of the Parties at the Council of Europe once the Istanbul Convention is ratified by the EU; producing practical guidelines and strategies for the application of the Istanbul Convention; taking the necessary measures pursuant to Articles 60 and 61 of the Convention on migration and asylum , taking into account the fact that migrant women and girls have the right to live free from violence. Members also called on the Commission to present a legal act to support Member States in their efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and to set up a European Monitoring Observatory on gender-based violence. For its part, the Council should activate the passerelle clause by adopting a unanimous decision to identify violence against women and girls (and other forms of gender-based violence) as an area of crime under Article 83(1) TFEU.
        • date: 2017-09-11T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20170911&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
        • date: 2017-09-12T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=30118&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
        • date: 2017-09-12T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2017-0329 title: T8-0329/2017 summary: The European Parliament adopted by 489 votes to 114, with 69 abstentions, a resolution on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, by the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Members recalled that gender-based violence should be treated as a serious and urgent issue as it concerns more than 250 million women and girls in the EU alone. Some groups of women and girls, such as migrant women, women refugees and asylum seekers, women and girls with disabilities, LBTI women and Roma women, are at risk of multiple discrimination and are therefore even more vulnerable to violence. Condemning all forms of violence against women, Parliament welcomed the signing of the EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention on 13 June 2017. It urged the Estonian Presidency to speed up the EU’s ratification of the Convention , the first comprehensive legally binding international instrument on preventing and combating violence against women and gender-based violence, including domestic violence. Members stressed that the EU’s accession to the Convention will ensure a coherent European legal framework to prevent and combat violence against women and gender-based violence and to protect and support victims in the EU’s internal and external policies. Parliament invited the Council, the Commission and the Member States to take account of a series of recommendations, including: initiating a constructive dialogue with the Council and Member States, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, so as to address reservations, objections and concerns expressed by Member States, and in particular to clarify misleading interpretations of the Istanbul Convention; keeping Parliament fully informed at all stages of the negotiations and ensuring that it is involved in the monitoring process of the Convention; ensuring that Member States ensure the proper application of the Convention and allocate adequate financial resources to preventing and combating violence against women; drawing up a holistic EU strategy on combating violence against women and gender-based violence; designating an EU Coordinator to act as representative of the EU to the Committee of the Parties at the Council of Europe once the Istanbul Convention is ratified by the EU; producing practical guidelines and strategies for the application of the Istanbul Convention; taking the necessary measures pursuant to Articles 60 and 61 of the Convention on migration and asylum, taking into account the fact that migrant women and girls have the right to live free from violence. The Commission was also called upon to: present a legal act to support Member States in their efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women; revise the EU framework decision currently in force on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law, in order to include sexism, bias crime and incitement to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics. Lastly, Parliament called for the creation of a European Monitoring Observatory on gender-based violence.
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        • The European Parliament adopted by 489 votes to 114, with 69 abstentions, a resolution on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, by the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

          Members recalled that gender-based violence should be treated as a serious and urgent issue as it concerns more than 250 million women and girls in the EU alone.

          Some groups of women and girls, such as migrant women, women refugees and asylum seekers, women and girls with disabilities, LBTI women and Roma women, are at risk of multiple discrimination and are therefore even more vulnerable to violence.

          Condemning all forms of violence against women, Parliament welcomed the signing of the EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention on 13 June 2017. It urged the Estonian Presidency to speed up the EU’s ratification of the Convention, the first comprehensive legally binding international instrument on preventing and combating violence against women and gender-based violence, including domestic violence.

          Members stressed that the EU’s accession to the Convention will ensure a coherent European legal framework to prevent and combat violence against women and gender-based violence and to protect and support victims in the EU’s internal and external policies.

          Parliament invited the Council, the Commission and the Member States to take account of a series of recommendations, including:

          • initiating a constructive dialogue with the Council and Member States, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, so as to address reservations, objections and concerns expressed by Member States, and in particular to clarify misleading interpretations of the Istanbul Convention;
          • keeping Parliament fully informed at all stages of the negotiations and ensuring that it is involved in the monitoring process of the Convention;
          • ensuring that Member States ensure the proper application of the Convention and allocate adequate financial resources to preventing and combating violence against women;
          • drawing up a holistic EU strategy on combating violence against women and gender-based violence;
          • designating an EU Coordinator to act as representative of the EU to the Committee of the Parties at the Council of Europe once the Istanbul Convention is ratified by the EU;
          • producing practical guidelines and strategies for the application of the Istanbul Convention;
          • taking the necessary measures pursuant to Articles 60 and 61 of the Convention on migration and asylum, taking into account the fact that migrant women and girls have the right to live free from violence.

          The Commission was also called upon to:

          • present a legal act to support Member States in their efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women;
          • revise the EU framework decision currently in force on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law, in order to include sexism, bias crime and incitement to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.

          Lastly, Parliament called for the creation of a European Monitoring Observatory on gender-based violence.

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        • The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, together with the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, adopted the interim report by Anna Maria CORAZZA BILDT (EPP, SE) and Christine REVAULT D'ALLONNES BONNEFOY (S&D, FR) on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, by the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

          The committee asked the Estonian Presidency to speed up the ratification by the Union of the Istanbul Convention, stressing that the accession of the Union to the Convention will ensure the establishment of a coherent European legal framework to prevent and combat violence against women and gender-based violence

          While welcoming the signing of EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention on 13 June 2017, Members regretted the fact that the limitation to two areas, namely matters relating to judicial cooperation in criminal matters and those related to asylum and non-refoulement, raised legal uncertainties as to the scope of the EU’s accession.

          The report invited the Council, the Commission and the Member States to take account of a series of recommendations, including:

          • initiating a constructive dialogue with the Council and Member States, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, so as to address reservations, objections and concerns expressed by Member States, and in particular to clarify misleading interpretations of the Istanbul Convention;
          • keeping Parliament fully informed at all stages of the negotiations and ensuring that it is involved in the monitoring process of the Convention;
          • ensuring that Member States ensure the proper application of the Convention and allocate adequate financial resources to preventing and combating violence against women;
          • drawing up a holistic EU strategy on combating violence against women and gender-based violence;
          • designating an EU Coordinator to act as representative of the EU to the Committee of the Parties at the Council of Europe once the Istanbul Convention is ratified by the EU;
          • producing practical guidelines and strategies for the application of the Istanbul Convention;
          • taking the necessary measures pursuant to Articles 60 and 61 of the Convention on migration and asylum, taking into account the fact that migrant women and girls have the right to live free from violence.

          Members also called on the Commission to present a legal act to support Member States in their efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and to set up a European Monitoring Observatory on gender-based violence.

          For its part, the Council should activate the passerelle clause by adopting a unanimous decision to identify violence against women and girls (and other forms of gender-based violence) as an area of crime under Article 83(1) TFEU.

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        • PURPOSE: to conclude, by the European Union, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

          PROPOSED ACT: Council Decision.

          ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Council may adopt the act only if Parliament has given its consent to the act. 

          BACKGROUND: the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence was adopted on 7 April 2011 and it came into force on 1 August 2014. As of 1 February 2016, 12 EU Member States have ratified the Convention, and 25 Member States have signed it.

          The Convention is the first international instrument aiming to eliminate violence against women, including girls under the age of 18, as a root cause of persisting inequality between men and women, by setting up a comprehensive framework of legal and policy measures to prevent violence against women and protect and assist victims of such violence.

          Equality between men and women is a fundamental value and objective of the European Union, as recognised in the Treaties:

          • the EU has taken firm positions on the need to eradicate violence against women and is funding specific campaigns and grass-roots projects to combat it;
          • existing legislation in the areas of protection of crime victims, children’s sexual exploitation and abuse, asylum and migration takes account of the particular needs of victims of gender based violence.

          Despite the efforts at both national and EU level, the extent of violence against women is still a matter of serious concern:

          • according to a survey by the Fundamental Rights Agency published in 2014, one in three women in the EU has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15, one in twenty women has been raped, 75 % of women in qualified professions or top management have been victims of sexual harassment, and one in ten women has experienced stalking or sexual harassment through new technologies;
          • the European Institute for Gender Equality estimates that gender-based violence against women generates costs in the EU of approximately EUR 226 billion per year.

          The Convention’s approach is fully in line with the Union’s multifaceted approach to the phenomenon of gender-based violence and the thrust of measures in place through internal and external EU policies. The Commission considered that the conclusion of the Convention would send a strong political message about the EU’s commitment to combating violence against women, create coherence between its internal and external action, as well as complementarity between national and EU levels, and reinforce its credibility and accountability towards its international partners.

          CONTENT: under this draft Decision, the Council is called upon to approve, on behalf of the Union, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

          The Convention creates a comprehensive legal framework to protect women and girls against all forms of violence. It seeks to prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against them, including domestic violence. It covers a broad range of measures from data-collection and awareness-raising to legal measures on criminalising different forms of violence against women. It includes measures for the protection of victims and the provision of support services, and addresses the gender-based violence dimension in matters of asylum and migration.

          The Convention obliges Parties:

          • to condemn all forms of discrimination by ensuring that the principle of equality between men and women is applied in their legal orders and it is made clear that positive action may be taken;
          • to ensure that state actors refrain from engaging in any act of violence and to exercise due diligence so that acts of violence committed by non-state actors are prevented,  investigated and punished, and that reparation be provided for such acts. The Convention explicitly applies in times of peace and in situations of armed conflict.

          With respect to matters falling within the Union’s competence, the Commission shall represent the Union at meetings of the bodies created by the Convention. In particular, the Commission shall select, propose and participate in the nomination of experts to the Group of experts on action against violence against women and domestic violence (‘GREVIO’), on behalf of the Union.

          The Commission and the Member States shall cooperate closely, in particular as far as questions of monitoring, reporting, voting arrangements and the functioning of the coordinating body referred to in Article 10 of the Convention are concerned.

        activities/0/commission/0
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        Commissioner
        JOUROVÁ Věra
        other/0
        body
        EC
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        commissioner
        JOUROVÁ Věra
        activities
        • date: 2016-03-04T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2016/0109/COM_COM(2016)0109_EN.pdf celexid: CELEX:52016PC0109:EN type: Legislative proposal published title: COM(2016)0109 type: Legislative proposal published body: EC commission:
        committees
        • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Women’s Rights and Gender Equality committee: FEMM
        • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Legal Affairs committee: JURI
        • body: EP responsible: True committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee: LIBE
        links
        other
          procedure
          reference
          2016/0062(NLE)
          title
          Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence
          legal_basis
          stage_reached
          Preparatory phase in Parliament
          subtype
          Consent by Parliament
          type
          NLE - Non-legislative enactments
          subject