Combating violence against women: MEPs ready to negotiate on draft EU directive 

Press Releases 
  • MEPs push for a broader scope, to protect more victims and punish more perpetrators 
  • Tougher stance on online harassment, such as non-consensual release of intimate material and unsolicited images of genitalia 
  • Better reporting and investigative procedures, enhanced support for victims 

Parliament adopted its mandate for negotiations with Council on rules to combat violence against women, ahead of the first round of talks tomorrow.

The mandate prepared by the Civil Liberties and Women’s Rights committees includes a consent-based definition of rape, tougher rules on cyber violence, and better support for victims. It also asks for:

  • case-by-case assessments for consent;
  • a longer list of aggravating circumstances for offences, including those resulting in the death or suicide of dependants, crimes against a public figure, and intent to preserve or restore “honour”;
  • EU rules against sexual assault, intersex genital mutilation, forced sterilisation, forced marriage, and sexual harassment in all work-related environments;
  • specific rules for online crimes, including the release of intimate material and the unsolicited sending of images of genitalia;
  • improved procedures to ensure victims’ safety and health, as well as free legal support; and
  • enhanced reporting and evidence gathering by competent authorities.

Parliament’s plenary approved the report without a vote, in line with its rules of procedure. You can read the adopted text here.

Press conference with Parliament’s negotiators

A press conference with Frances Fitzgerald (EPP, Ireland), lead MEP for the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee, and Evin Incir (S&D, Sweden), lead MEP for the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, is scheduled for 11:00 CEST at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Find out more here.

Next steps

Parliament will start negotiations with Council on Thursday. Member states agreed on their position on 9 June.