On the eve of the 25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, MEPs call on the Council and the Commission to speed up negotiations on the signing and conclusion of the Istanbul Convention in a resolution voted on Thursday. They also ask all member states, which have not yet done so, to ratify the Istanbul Convention.
On 4 March 2016, the Commission proposed that the EU should join the Istanbul Convention, the first legally binding international instrument for preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. All EU member states have signed it, but only fourteen* of them have ratified it.
The resolution, adopted by 516 votes to 54 with 52 abstentions, stressed that the EU's accession will guarantee a European legal framework and better implementation of EU laws, while also ensuring better coherence in internal and external policies in combating and preventing violence against women and girls.
MEPs reiterate their call from the resolution of 25 February 2014 and ask the Commission to submit a draft law with binding instruments to protect women from violence and to identify such violence as a specific crime.
The Council of Europe Istanbul Convention is the most comprehensive international treaty on combating violence against women and domestic violence. The Convention was adopted by the Council of Europe in 2011 and entered into force in August 2014.
An EU Fundamental Rights Agency survey found that one third of women in the EU have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15. That means 62 million women.
To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the European Parliament in Brussels will participate in the global initiative "Orange the world" and the building will be lit up in orange on 25 November.
* Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden have ratified the Istanbul Convention