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Parliamentary questions
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31 August 2016
E-005912/2016(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-005912/2016

The Commission has proposed(1) EU accession to the Istanbul Convention. The EU would accede to the Convention within the limits of its competences and alongside Member States.

Under Article 2.1, the Convention applies to all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence. The Convention recognises the fact that violence affects women disproportionately(2), acknowledging the structural nature of violence against women as gender-based violence, that is both entrenched in gender inequality and perpetuating it, while at the same time recognising that men and children may also be victims of domestic violence.

Therefore, Article 2.2 encourages the Parties to apply the Convention also to domestic violence committed against men and children. Parties are thus allowed to extend the applicability of the Convention to these victims, in order to achieve the Convention's aim, namely to create a Europe free from violence against all persons(3).

The EU has developed substantial acquis in the areas covered by the Convention. This acquis will be subject, in the light of the Convention, to a systematic gender-sensitive interpretation. EU acquis already recognises that gender-based violence is violence that is directed against a person because of that person's gender, gender identity or gender expression or that affects a person of a particular gender disproportionately and it acknowledges that women require special support and protection. Moreover it recognises that women are affected disproportionately by violence committed in close relationships(4).

(1)COM(2016)0111 final and COM(2016)0109 final: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/HIS/?uri=COM:2016:111:FIN and http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/HIS/?uri=COM:2016:109:FIN
(2)An EU-wide survey on the prevalence of the violence against women carried out by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) in 2014 showed that this remains an issue in all EU countries: http://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2014/violence-against-women-eu-wide-survey-main-results-report
(3)Preamble and Article 4.1.
(4)Directive 2012/29/EU on the rights of victims of crime, Recital No 17 and 18.

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