EWL News

EWL welcomes European Parliament resolution calling the EU to access the Istanbul Convention

[Brussels, 10 December 2019] The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) warmly welcomes the adoption of the new European Parliament resolution calling for concrete EU action to end Violence against women and girls, including the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention. Voted on 28 November, four days after the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women,this resolution has been adopted by a large majority of the members of the European Parliament. This shows the extensive support that exists across Europe to the Convention on combatting and preventing violence against women and domestic violence, the Istanbul Convention.

The European Parliament calls on the Council of the European Union to urgently conclude the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention in a broadly manner and without any limitations. This has been a longstanding request of the European Coalition to end violence against women which, since 2017, has been calling the Council of the European Union, the EU Presidencies and Member States to make significant progress and ensure the convention’s EU’s accession. You can read here the demands of the European Coalition to end violence against women and girls, a strategic alliance of more than 25 European wide civil society networks dedicated to social justice and equality, whose collective voice represents over 3,800 NGOs and trade unions in 49 countries in Europe.

The European Parliament Resolution adopted in November calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure the full integration of the Convention into the EU legislative and policy framework. According to the Parliament, violence against women should be considered as a Eurocrime in the Treaties and calls on the Commission to submit a legal act on the prevention and suppression of violence against women and girls.

The European Women’s Lobby congratulates the two co-rapporteurs MEP Arba Kokalari (EPP, Sweden, FEMM Committee) and Sylwia Spurek (S&D, Poland, LIBE Committee) on their efforts to achieve the adoption of this strong resolution that builds on many of the longstanding recommendations of women’s organisations across Europe.

FEMM and LIBE Exchange of views on the EU Accession to the Istanbul Convention

On 2 December 2019, the EWL was invited to contribute to an Exchange of views in the European Parliament Committees working on the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention (LIBE and FEMM Committees). Irene Rosales, Policy and Campaigns officer at the European Women’s lobby highlighted the importance of the Istanbul Convention and the numerous positive impacts the Convention has had in enhancing legislation and policies on violence against women; also in improving protection services and access to justice.

Libe FEMM exchange of views 2 Dec

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At the hearing, the EWL denounced the level of disparity in the Implementation of the Convention and the fact that women across the EU are not equally protected due to the differing policies and legislation across the Member States. The EWL also welcomed the Venice Commission’s Opinion on Armenia and the constitutional implications of the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, adopted in October by the European Commission for Democracy through Law of the Council of Europe. The Opinion was presented at the European Parliament by Martin Kuijer, Substitute member from the Netherlands on the Venice Commission. This Opinion clarifies important aspects of the Convention and debunks all the intentional misinterpretations and legal contra-arguments about the legal implications of Convention. As a conclusion, Irene Rosales highlighted that the obstacles not to move ahead with ratification/ implementation of the Convention (either at national or EU level) cannot be justified because of legal concerns. The obstacles come from the lack of political will to seriously address the issue of violence against women and to end this human rights violation.

On behalf of the European coalition to end violence against women and girls, the EWL urged the Council and next EU Presidencies to have reached a decision by 25 November 2020. Knowing that there is a vast majority of EU member States that have ratified the Convention, we urged the Council and EU Presidencies to find solutions to overcome a blockage that lasts for way too long.

You can find here the full agenda, a video of the hearing (starting at minute 17:36).

EWL delivers 188,000 signatures to the Croatian Permanent Representation to the EU demanding the immediate accession to the Istanbul Convention by the EU.

180 000 Signatures Rise Up against violence GL

On 6 December, EWL President, Gwendoline Lefebvre, delivered 188,000 signatures to Ms Valentina Andrassy, Ambassador of the Croatian Permanent Representation to the EU, calling for concrete EU action to end violence against women and concretely the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention.

180 000 Signatures Rise Up against violence

The petition, run in partnership with WeMove.euand other civil society organisations, urges the new European leaders, including the incoming Croatian Presidency to the EU, to take up their responsibility in ensuring the right of women and girls to be free from violence and to lead progress so that the decision on the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention can be reached by 25 November 2020.

You can still add your signature and Rise up to end violence against women and girls in Europe here: https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/womens-rights

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Loud and United to end violence against women and girls, European Women’s Lobby Conference, 6 December 2017, Brussels.

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