In the context of commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the UN Resolution establishing the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, EU action in this field needs to be stepped up and move forward. Violence against women is a structural and widespread problem throughout Europe. Women's lives and participation in social, economic, political and economic life is being limited by the persistence of different forms of violence against them. Violence against women is not only a problem of public health, but also a matter of inequality between women and men, which is an area where the EU has the mandate to develop actions. Currently, the Daphne programme provides some limited funding for initiatives against violence against women. However, this instrument is far from sufficient. At a moment when the EU is increasing its cooperation in the field of Freedom, Security and Justice, through the adoption in December of the so-called 'Stockholm programme' , which highlights protection of citizens, access to justice and promoting citizens’ rights, stepping up EU action to tackle violence against women must be an integral part of such a strategy.
1. What is, therefore, the Council's strategy to improve the current situation?
2. Does the Council plan to adopt a more comprehensive EU policy to tackle violence against women on the basis of the existing Treaty provisions (obligation to work towards equality between women and men and public health)?
3. Does the Council plan to develop an EU policy plan to tackle violence against women based on shared guidelines?
4. What actions are planned to encourage and support Member States in developing national action plans to tackle violence against women?