BETA


2022/0066(COD) Combating violence against women and domestic violence

Progress: Procedure completed, awaiting publication in Official Journal

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Joint Responsible Committee ['FEMM', 'LIBE'] FITZGERALD Frances (icon: EPP EPP), INCIR Evin (icon: S&D S&D) COLIN-OESTERLÉ Nathalie (icon: EPP EPP), PICIERNO Pina (icon: S&D S&D), RODRÍGUEZ RAMOS María Soraya (icon: Renew Renew), ĎURIŠ NICHOLSONOVÁ Lucia (icon: Renew Renew), RIBA I GINER Diana (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), SPUREK Sylwia (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), ANDERSON Christine (icon: ID ID), FEST Nicolaus (icon: ID ID), DE LA PISA CARRIÓN Margarita (icon: ECR ECR), KANKO Assita (icon: ECR ECR), BJÖRK Malin (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), RODRÍGUEZ PALOP Eugenia (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Committee Opinion BUDG GEESE Alexandra (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE) Fabienne KELLER (icon: RE RE), Joachim KUHS (icon: ID ID), Margarida MARQUES (icon: S&D S&D), Silvia MODIG (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), Angelika WINZIG (icon: PPE PPE)
Committee Opinion EMPL ESTARÀS FERRAGUT Rosa (icon: EPP EPP) Vilija BLINKEVIČIŪTĖ (icon: S&D S&D), Konstantinos ARVANITIS (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), Sylvie BRUNET (icon: RE RE), Kim VAN SPARRENTAK (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), Stefania ZAMBELLI (icon: ID ID), Margarita DE LA PISA CARRIÓN (icon: ECR ECR)
Committee Opinion IMCO
Committee Opinion JURI AUBRY Manon (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Committee Legal Basis Opinion JURI VOSS Axel (icon: EPP EPP) Caterina CHINNICI (icon: S&D S&D), Angel DZHAMBAZKI (icon: ECR ECR), Heidi HAUTALA (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), Luisa REGIMENTI (icon: PPE PPE), Ilana CICUREL (icon: RE RE)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 40, RoP 57, RoP 58, TFEU 082-p2, TFEU 083-p1-a1

Events

2024/05/14
   CSL - Draft final act
Documents
2024/05/14
   CSL - Final act signed
2024/05/07
   EP/CSL - Act adopted by Council after Parliament's 1st reading
2024/04/24
   EP - Text adopted by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Documents
2024/04/24
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading
Documents
2024/04/23
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2024/02/15
   EP - Approval in committee of the text agreed at 1st reading interinstitutional negotiations
Documents
2024/02/14
   CSL - Coreper letter confirming interinstitutional agreement
2024/02/14
   EP - Text agreed during interinstitutional negotiations
Documents
2023/07/12
   EP - Committee decision to enter into interinstitutional negotiations confirmed by plenary (Rule 71)
2023/07/10
   EP - Committee decision to enter into interinstitutional negotiations announced in plenary (Rule 71)
2023/07/06
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading
Details

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality adopted the report presented by Frances FITZGERALD (EPP, IE) and Evin INCIR (S&D, SE) on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on combating violence against women and domestic violence.

The relevant committees recommended that the European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading in the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the proposal as follows:

The proposed Directive lays down rules to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence. It should establish minimum rules on the rights of victims to protection and support , as well as prevention and early intervention.

The Directive should take into account the increased risk of violence faced by victims of intersectional discrimination based on both sex and gender. Member States should ensure that, in the application of this Directive, particular attention is paid to the risk of intimidation, retaliation, secondary and repeat victimisation and to the need to protect the dignity and rights of victims, including their physical and psychological integrity, privacy and safety.

Criminal conduct

According to Members, the directive should apply to criminal conduct which amounts to violence against women or domestic violence, as criminalised under Union or national law. This includes the criminal offences defined in this Directive, namely rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation, intersex genital mutilation, forced sterilisation, forced marriage, sexual harassment in the world of work, the non-consensual sharing of intimate or manipulated material, cyber stalking, cyber harassment, the unsolicited receipt of sexually explicit material, cyber incitement to violence or hatred and criminal conduct covered by other Union instruments,

Concept of consent

Members proposed broadening the definition of rape to include all other acts of non-consensual sexual nature. ‘ Non-consensual act ’ means an act performed without the woman’s consent given voluntarily or where the woman is unable to form a free will due to her physical or mental condition, thereby exploiting her incapacity to form a free will, such as in a state of fear, intimidation, unconsciousness, intoxication, sleep, illness, bodily injury or disability or in an otherwise particularly vulnerable situation.

It is emphasised that consent can be withdrawn at any moment during the act. The absence of consent cannot be refuted by the woman’s silence, verbal or physical non-resistance or past sexual conduct or existing or past relationship with the offender including marital or any other partnership status.

Sanctions

Members believe that sexual assault should carry a maximum penalty of at least three years in prison and at least five years if the offence was committed under aggravating circumstances. Sexual harassment offences in the workplace should carry a maximum penalty of at least one year in prison.

Aggravating circumstances

Members expanded the list of aggravating circumstances. This should include situations where:

- the offence was committed against a person made vulnerable by special circumstances, such as residency status, pregnancy, dependency, physical, mental, intellectual or sensory distress or disability, a person who is a victim of trafficking or living in an institution including retirement homes, children’s homes, reception centres, detention or accommodation centres for asylum seekers;

- the offence was committed against a public representative, journalist or human rights defender;

- the intent of the crime was to preserve or restore the “honour” of a person, family, community;

- the crime was intended to punish victims for their sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, sexual characteristics, skin colour, religion, social origin or political beliefs.

Protection of victims

Victims should have access to legal aid and assistance, free of charge and in a language they can reasonably understand, when reporting criminal offences and during judicial proceedings. The competent authorities should take all necessary steps to ensure that all evidence is obtained as soon as possible. Member States should ensure that victims are referred to a specialised contact person within the competent authority irrespective of whether a criminal complaint is filed.

Members stressed the importance of always recognising as victims children who have witnessed violence against women and domestic violence and suggested specific improvements to ensure that the best interests of the child are duly taken into account. To this end, Member States should ensure that professionals specialising in the care and support of children are present in order to assist them in reporting procedures.

Investigations and court proceedings

Competent authorities should promptly and effectively record and investigate allegations of violence against women or domestic violence and ensure that an administrative record is kept in all cases and that evidence is preserved, whether or not the investigation proceeds. Victims should be informed of the importance of collecting evidence at the earliest possible time.

Specialised individual assessment to identify victims' needs

The specialised individual assessment should be initiated without delay upon the first contact of the victim with the competent authorities and should be carried out by professionals with expertise in this area. Circumstances requiring special attention should include the fact that the victim is pregnant, the victim’s dependence on or relationship to the offender, the risk of the victim returning to the offender or suspect, recent separation from an offender or suspect, the possible risk that children and companion animals are used to exercise control over the victim and the risks for victims with disabilities.

Emergency barring, restraining and protection orders, arrest and detention

Members proposed enhanced measures to ensure the safety of victims during the process, stressing the need for barring, restraining and protection orders as well as arrests and detention as a way of protecting women’s safety and obtaining evidence. Member State authorities should also make greater efforts to secure evidence , both online and offline, as early as possible, and electronic monitoring , such as ankle bracelets, should be used to make sure that barring, restraining and protection orders are respected, and can be followed up upon.

Lastly, Member States should facilitate the tasks of a Union coordinator on combating gender-based violence, responsible for improving coordination between Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, Member States and international actors, and the coherence of the actions they take in the fight against violence against women and domestic violence.

Documents
2023/07/01
   EP - VOSS Axel (EPP) appointed as rapporteur in JURI
2023/06/28
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading
2023/06/28
   EP - Committee decision to open interinstitutional negotiations with report adopted in committee
2023/06/27
   EP - Specific opinion
Documents
2023/05/05
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2023/03/28
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2023/03/02
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2023/02/02
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2023/02/02
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2023/02/02
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2023/02/02
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2023/02/02
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2022/12/13
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2022/09/08
   EP - ESTARÀS FERRAGUT Rosa (EPP) appointed as rapporteur in EMPL
2022/08/09
   EP - FITZGERALD Frances (EPP) appointed as rapporteur in ['FEMM', 'LIBE']
2022/08/09
   EP - INCIR Evin (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in ['FEMM', 'LIBE']
2022/07/14
   DE_BUNDESRAT - Contribution
Documents
2022/07/13
   ESC - Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report
Documents
2022/07/13
   EP - AUBRY Manon (GUE/NGL) appointed as rapporteur in JURI
2022/07/07
   EP - Referral to associated committees announced in Parliament
2022/07/07
   EP - Referral to joint committee announced in Parliament
2022/05/25
   CZ_SENATE - Contribution
Documents
2022/04/27
   EP - GEESE Alexandra (Verts/ALE) appointed as rapporteur in BUDG
2022/03/23
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading
2022/03/09
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
Documents
2022/03/09
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2022/03/09
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2022/03/09
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2022/03/09
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2022/03/09
   EC - Legislative proposal published
Details

PURPOSE: to provide a comprehensive framework for effectively combating violence against women and domestic violence throughout the Union.

PROPOSED ACT: Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council.

ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: the European Parliament decides in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and on an equal footing with the Council.

BACKGROUND: violence against women and domestic violence are criminal offences, violations of human rights and various forms of discrimination. Combating such violence is part of the European Commission's action to protect the fundamental values of the Union and to ensure compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Violence against women and domestic violence are pervasive throughout the EU and are estimated to affect 1 in 3 women in the EU. In terms of more specific types of violence, in 2014, one in ten women reported being sexually assaulted and one in twenty women reported being raped. More than one in 5 women experienced domestic violence. By 2020, an estimated one in 2 young women have experienced gender-based cyber-violence. Cyber-violence particularly affects women who are active in public life, such as female politicians or journalists, or human rights defenders.

Women also experience violence at work: about a third of women in the EU who have faced sexual harassment experienced it at work.

The European Parliament has repeatedly asked the Commission to propose legislation on violence against women and domestic violence, as well as on gender-based cyber-violence. Parliament has also adopted two legislative initiative reports calling on the Commission to (i) bring forward proposals on combating gender-based violence and cyber-violence respectively and (ii) the addition of gender-based violence as a new area of crime listed in Article 83(1) TFEU [(see 2020/2035(INL ) and 2021/2035 (INL) ].

CONTENT: the proposal for a Directive aims to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence in order to ensure a high level of safety and full enjoyment of fundamental rights within the Union, including the right to equal treatment and non-discrimination between women and men. To this end, measures are proposed in the following areas

(1) Criminalisation of the relevant offences and penalties for such offences

The proposal aims to criminalise certain forms of violence that disproportionately affect women, which are insufficiently addressed at national level and which fall within the competence of the EU, on the basis of existing legal bases. This concerns the criminalisation of rape on the basis of lack of consent (without the necessary use of force or threats, as is the case in some Member States), female genital mutilation , and certain offences related to computer crime : non-consensual sharing of intimate or manipulated material, online stalking, cyberstalking and incitement to violence or hatred online.

The proposal defines the minimum level of maximum penalties for the offences concerned. Member States should thus ensure that rape is punishable by a maximum penalty of at least eight years' imprisonment, and at least ten years' imprisonment if the offence was committed under aggravating circumstances.

(2) Victim protection and access to justice

The proposal:

- contains rules on the reporting of violence against women and domestic violence to ensure that these offences are prosecuted;

- ensures that offences are effectively investigated and prosecuted, that sufficient expertise and resources are available and that offences amounting to rape are prosecuted ex officio ;

- provide for an individual needs assessment for protection and support tailored to the specific needs of victims of violence against women or domestic violence;

- provide for specific safeguards for child victims of violence against women or domestic violence;

- ensure protection through emergency barring and protection orders;

- ensure that victims can effectively claim compensation from the offender;

- ensure the removal of online content in relation to offences of cyber violence, and a possibility of judicial redress for the affected users; and

- ensures that government bodies exist to assist, advise and to represent victims in court proceedings in matters of violence against women or domestic violence.

(3) Victim support

The proposal includes specific support in cases of sexual violence and female genital mutilation, access to national helplines, improved access to shelters and comprehensive support for victims of sexual harassment at work. Targeted support for victims with specific needs and groups at risk, including women fleeing armed conflict, is also planned.

(4) Prevention

The proposal includes an obligation to carry out awareness-raising activities. It provides that professionals who are most likely to come into contact with victims should receive targeted training and information and that intervention programmes should be open, on a voluntary basis, to those who fear that they would commit such crimes.

(5) Coordination and cooperation

The proposal strengthens coordination and cooperation at national and EU level, ensuring a multi-agency approach and strengthening data collection on violence against women and domestic violence.

Budgetary impact

The European Institute for Gender Equality (the EIGE) would need the following financial and human resources to be able to carry out the administrative data collection: (i) one-off set-up cost: EUR 200 000; (ii) annual maintenance and running costs: EUR 750 000; (iii) staff: one temporary agent (full-time equivalent) from 2025 onwards and two contractual agents (full-time equivalent) from 2025 onwards (i.e. a three in total).

Documents

  • Draft final act: 00033/2024/LEX
  • Text adopted by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading: T9-0338/2024
  • Decision by Parliament, 1st reading: T9-0338/2024
  • Debate in Parliament: Debate in Parliament
  • Approval in committee of the text agreed at 1st reading interinstitutional negotiations: PE759.029
  • Coreper letter confirming interinstitutional agreement: GEDA/A/(2024)000988
  • Text agreed during interinstitutional negotiations: PE759.029
  • Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading: A9-0234/2023
  • Specific opinion: PE750.144
  • Committee opinion: PE737.239
  • Committee opinion: PE734.177
  • Committee opinion: PE739.787
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE740.668
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE742.348
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE742.349
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE742.350
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE742.352
  • Committee draft report: PE739.730
  • Contribution: COM(2022)0105
  • Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report: CES1395/2022
  • Contribution: COM(2022)0105
  • Document attached to the procedure: SEC(2022)0150
  • Document attached to the procedure: EUR-Lex
  • Document attached to the procedure: SWD(2022)0060
  • Document attached to the procedure: EUR-Lex
  • Document attached to the procedure: SWD(2022)0061
  • Document attached to the procedure: EUR-Lex
  • Document attached to the procedure: SWD(2022)0062
  • Document attached to the procedure: EUR-Lex
  • Document attached to the procedure: SWD(2022)0063
  • Legislative proposal published: COM(2022)0105
  • Legislative proposal published: EUR-Lex
  • Document attached to the procedure: SEC(2022)0150
  • Document attached to the procedure: EUR-Lex SWD(2022)0060
  • Document attached to the procedure: EUR-Lex SWD(2022)0061
  • Document attached to the procedure: EUR-Lex SWD(2022)0062
  • Document attached to the procedure: EUR-Lex SWD(2022)0063
  • Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report: CES1395/2022
  • Committee draft report: PE739.730
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE740.668
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE742.348
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE742.349
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE742.350
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE742.352
  • Committee opinion: PE739.787
  • Committee opinion: PE734.177
  • Committee opinion: PE737.239
  • Specific opinion: PE750.144
  • Coreper letter confirming interinstitutional agreement: GEDA/A/(2024)000988
  • Text agreed during interinstitutional negotiations: PE759.029
  • Text adopted by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading: T9-0338/2024
  • Draft final act: 00033/2024/LEX
  • Contribution: COM(2022)0105
  • Contribution: COM(2022)0105

Activities

Votes

A9-0234/2023 – Evin Incir, Frances Fitzgerald – Request to vote on the amendments to the draft legislative act #

2024/04/24 Outcome: -: 518, +: 90, 0: 15
IT HU SI MT EE LU SK LV DK FI HR EL LT AT IE BG NL CZ SE PT BE RO PL FR ES DE
Total
55
14
8
4
7
6
13
8
14
14
11
14
10
17
12
14
28
20
21
19
21
28
44
74
58
89
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3

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1

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2

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3

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1

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1

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3
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3

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1

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1

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3
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123

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A9-0234/2023 – Evin Incir, Frances Fitzgerald – Provisional agreement – Am 298 #

2024/04/24 Outcome: +: 522, 0: 72, -: 27
DE FR ES RO IT NL PT PL SE BE CZ AT DK IE EL FI BG LT SI LV HR LU EE HU SK MT
Total
87
74
57
28
54
28
21
43
21
21
20
17
14
12
14
14
14
10
8
8
11
6
7
15
13
4
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156

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1

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3

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2

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4

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1
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3

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2

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1

Slovenia Renew

2

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1

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2

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68

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3

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1

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1

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3

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1

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1

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3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

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3

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3

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2

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2

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1

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3

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2

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1
icon: ID ID
49

Czechia ID

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1

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3

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1

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31

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Germany ECR

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France ECR

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5

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icon: NI NI
35

Germany NI

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France NI

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2
AmendmentsDossier
2069 2022/0066(COD)
2023/01/24 JURI 226 amendments...
source: 740.834
2023/01/26 BUDG 49 amendments...
source: 740.852
2023/02/01 EMPL 313 amendments...