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5 January 2012
PE 475.846v02-00 A7-0006/2012

on the Daphne programme: achievements and future prospects


Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

Rapporteur: Regina Bastos



on the Daphne programme: achievements and future prospects


The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–   having regard to the EPSCO Council Conclusions of 8 March 2010 on violence,

–   having regard to the Commission’s Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015, which was presented on 21 September 2010 (COM(2010)0491),

–   having regard to the Action Plan implementing the political priorities in the area of freedom, security and justice set out in the Stockholm Programme for the period 2010-2014, which was presented on 20 April 2010 (COM(2010)0171),

–   having regard to its resolution of 5 April 2011 on priorities and outline of a new EU policy framework to fight violence against women(1),

–   having regard to Decision No 779/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007 establishing for the period 2007-2013 a specific programme to prevent and combat violence against children, young people and women and to protect victims and groups at risk (Daphne III programme) as part of the General Programme ‘Fundamental Rights and Justice’(2),

–   having regard to Decision No 803/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 adopting a programme of Community action (2004 to 2008) to prevent and combat violence against children, young people and women and to protect victims and groups at risk (the Daphne II programme)(3),

–    having regard to Decision No 293/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 January 2000 adopting a programme of Community action (the Daphne programme) (2000 to 2003) on preventive measures to fight violence against children, young persons and women(4),

–   having regard to the report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 11 May 2011 on the interim evaluation of the ‘Daphne III Programme (2007-2013)’ (COM(2011)0254),

–   having regard to the decisions of the Commission on the adoption of annual work programmes for the Daphne III Programme,

–   having regard to the Commission communication on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing for the period 2014 to 2020 the Rights and Citizenship Programme (COM(2011)0758),

–   having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0006/2012),

A. whereas the Daphne programme has been a genuine success since its launch in 1997, both in terms of its popularity with stakeholders (beneficiaries, public and academic authorities, NGOs) and in terms of the effectiveness of the projects funded by the programme;

B.  whereas Daphne is the only programme of this type that aims to combat violence against women, children and young people across the European Union as a whole; whereas, therefore, continued funding for the Daphne programme is vital in order to maintain the measures currently in force and introduce new measures that will be effective in combating all types of violence against children, young people and women;

C. whereas preventing and combating violence against women, children, and young people is still as pressing a concern today as it was in 1997, the year when the Daphne initiative was adopted; whereas, since it was established, the programme has thrown light on new forms of violence, including violence at day nurseries, ill-treatment of the elderly, and sexual assault among teenagers;

D. whereas Parliament has pointed out in numerous resolutions that the Daphne programme has been underfunded so far, and has stated its intention of ensuring that it has sufficient funding so that it can tackle the real needs involved in the fight against all types of violence against women, children and young people;

E.  whereas Daphne is an extremely important instrument for raising the visibility of the issue of violence against women and providing the possibility for women’s organisations and other engaged stakeholders to develop their work and their concrete actions in this field;

F.  whereas new forms of violence have arisen more recently from the growing use of online social networks;

G. whereas in the current situation of economic crisis and budgetary austerity, women have fewer resources with which to protect themselves and their children from violence and whereas it is even more important to avert the direct financial impact that violence against women and children has on the judiciary and on health and social services; whereas, additionally, funding for national programmes and NGOs that look after the needs of victims of violence is likely to be cut;

H. whereas the Commission stresses in its strategy for gender equality 2010-2015 that gender-based violence is one of the key problems to be addressed in order to achieve genuine gender equality;

I.   whereas it is important, in bringing the level of women’s rights in the candidate countries closer to the EU standards, to include them into the scope of the Daphne III programme;

J.   whereas violence against women stems from persistent gender-based inequalities and is a structural phenomenon linked to the unequal distribution of power between women and men in our society; whereas, however, it is possible to reduce significantly the incidence thereof by combining targeted actions against gender stereotyping in the fields of education and gender equality and in the media, and to combat this violence by means of awareness raising in the field of health, and among the police and the judiciary;

K. whereas violence against women, children and young people encompasses all kinds of human rights violations, such as sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, prostitution, people trafficking, violation of sexual and reproductive rights, violence against women and young people at work, violence against women, children and young people in conflict situations, violence against women, children and young people in prison or care institutions, and several harmful traditional practices such as genital mutilation; whereas any one of these abuses can leave deep psychological scars, damage the physical and mental integrity of women, children and young people and in some instances even result in their death;

L.  whereas combating violence against women is not mentioned among the objectives of the Commission’s proposal for the new ‘Rights and Citizenship’ Programme in the 2014-2020 financial period, which merges the DAPHNE III programme, the gender equality and non-discrimination sections of the PROGRESS Programme, and the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme; whereas this may undermine the DAPHNE programme’s visibility and consistency and jeopardise its success; whereas the proposed budget of the new programme is smaller than those of the current programmes; whereas the proposal does not guarantee predictability of funding for its objectives;

M. whereas comparable data on different types of violence against women in the European Union are not collected on a regular basis, which makes it difficult to ascertain the real extent of the problem and to find appropriate solutions; whereas it is very difficult to collect reliable data as women and men are reluctant, owing to fear or shame, to report their experiences;

N. whereas the costs to society of domestic violence are extremely high, as seen from one Daphne project which estimated that conjugal violence alone costs EUR 16 billion per year within the European Union – this includes all direct medical costs (casualty services, hospitalisation, out-patient care, medicines), court and police costs, welfare costs (accommodation and various forms of assistance) and economic costs (lost output)(5);

O. whereas various studies on gender-based violence estimate that one fifth to one quarter of all women in Europe have experienced physical acts of violence at least once during their adult lives, and that more than one tenth have suffered sexual violence involving the use of force; whereas research also shows that 26 % of children and young people report physical violence in childhood;

P.  whereas, as a result of social exclusion and marginalisation, Roma women and children are extremely vulnerable to violence, whereas throughout the past years the Daphne programme has successfully supported many initiatives seeking to shed light on the connection between social exclusion, poverty and violence;

Q. whereas gender-based violence is a structural and widespread problem throughout Europe and the world, and is a phenomenon that involves victims and perpetrators of all ages, educational backgrounds, incomes and social positions, and is linked to the unequal distribution of power between women and men in our society;

R.  whereas women in the European Union are not equally protected against male violence, owing to differing policies and legislation in the Member States;

S.  whereas the legal basis for the Daphne programme is Article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, covering public health, but under the Lisbon Treaty the European Union now has greater powers;

1.  Has noted with great interest the programme’s successes and its popularity, as well as the few problems it has encountered, as set out in the ‘Report on the interim evaluation of the ‘Daphne III programme 2007–2013’ and the preparatory studies used in its conception(6), and as reported by the recipients of the DAPHNE grants;

2.  While noting that the Daphne programme will from 2014 be incorporated in the Rights and Citizenship programme, considers it essential to see the programme’s objectives, in particular that of combating violence against women, retained in the 2014-2020 period among the objectives of the new Rights and Citizenship Programme, and maintains that its funding must be held at a level comparable to that of the earlier programme and that its profile within the new-generation programme must remain high, bearing in mind its success, its effectiveness and its popularity;

3.  Regrets that combating violence against children, teenagers and women is not explicitly mentioned in Article 4 (‘Specific objectives’) of the text contained in the Commission communication (COM(2011) 0758) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and the Council establishing for the period 2014 to 2020 the Rights and Citizenship Programme;

4.  Welcomes the fact that the total appropriation for the Rights and Citizenship Programme as a whole has been preserved almost intact; considers that a fair annual share-out of funding would make for continuity in terms of objectives and activities;

5.  Calls also on the Member States and interested partners, working with the Commission, to help disseminate information about European Union programmes and the financing opportunities that they offer, in particular among NGOs, at local level and in Member States where there is weak participation in the programme;

6.  Asks the Commission to find solutions to the small number of problems highlighted in the interim report referred to previously, notably with regard to:

– avoidance of overlap with other Community programmes in order to escape the risk of de-prioritising DAPHNE issues,

– improving the programmes’ transparency and the dissemination of their results,

– spreading the programmes more evenly across the Member States,

– easing the administrative burden, simplifying grant application procedures and shortening the time between the publication of calls for projects and the conclusion of contracts, which has prevented many small NGOs from proposing DAPHNE projects;

– enhancing the effectiveness of operating grants to European organisations capable of consolidating multidisciplinary Europe-wide partnerships established for subsidisation purposes; strengthening the ability of NGOs to define and influence national and European policy, with particular reference to smaller NGOs in central and eastern European countries,

7.  In order to strengthen the impact of the programme, calls on the Commission to pay further special attention to women, children and young people who, because of social exclusion and marginalisation, are particularly exposed to the risk of violence;

8.  Calls on the Commission to include candidate countries within the scope of eligibility for funds under the Daphne III Programme;

9.  Calls also on the Member States and interested partners to help achieve the goal of improving the spread of programmes across the Member States;

10. Calls on the Commission to channel more funding into projects aimed at alerting the young in particular to new forms of violence linked to the growing use of online social networks (threats, psychological pressures, bullying, internet child pornography), which are more insidious than other forms of violence, but just as likely to cause physical or mental injury;

11. Calls on the Member States to gather data regularly on violence against women in order to clarify the extent of the problem;

12. Highlights the Daphne programme’s added value for the EU in enabling various organisations in the Member States to cooperate on preventing and reducing violence and to benefit from the exchange of knowledge and best practice; points out, further, that projects funded under Daphne III have created associations and stable structures which will continue to support target groups in the longer term and which have prompted policy changes at national and EU level;

13. Stresses the need to pay particular attention to projects aimed at eradicating ´honour´ crimes and female genital mutilation;

14. Calls on the Commission to allow the funding of national projects involving small non-profit organisations, and demands that in the future it will still be possible for a large number of small NGOs to be fully involved and supported in partnerships of associations, as they play a crucial role in identifying less-well-known, taboo or new problems and in finding innovative ways to tackle them, as well as in protecting and supporting victims;

15. Recognises the importance of actions under the Daphne III programme seeking to prevent and combat violence against women, but nevertheless reiterates the need for legislative measures at European level to eradicate gender-based violence;

16. Calls on the Commission to translate the web page of the Toolkit online resource into all EU languages and to update it, highlighting results and recommendations resulting from the outcome of the Daphne programme projects so that it can be used as a database by all stakeholders; calls on the Commission to develop on its website user-friendly special pages given over exclusively to the Daphne programme and, from 2014, to the Rights and Citizenship Programme projects designed to fight violence towards women, children and teenagers;

17. Recalls the commitment by the Commission in its Action Plan implementing the Stockholm Programme to present in 2011-2012 a ‘Communication on a strategy to combat violence against women, domestic violence and female genital mutilation, to be followed up by an EU action plan’(7);

18. Calls on the Commission, when promoting the Rights and Citizenship programme, to make it possible still to identify projects relating to the objectives of the Daphne programme, which is widely known, so as to keep the programme’s profile as high as possible;

19. Suggests that the Commission broaden the role of the Justice DG’s Daphne team, moving beyond administrative and financial control duties to encompass a more specific communicating role;

20. Suggests that the Commission capitalise on the outcome of projects in order to influence European and national policies aimed at preventing and combating violence against women, children, and young people;

21. Calls on the Commission to pay particular attention to applications relating to projects aimed at promoting gender equality from the earliest time of life, focusing on prevention and education in order to change attitudes and eradicate stereotypes;

22. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0127.


OJ L 173, 3.7.2007, p. 19.


OJ L 143, 30.4.2004, p. 1.


OJ L 34, 9.2.2000, p. 1.


2006 Daphne project ‘IPV EU Cost’ JLS/DAP/06-1/073/WY ‘Estimating the economic cost of conjugal violence in Europe’ Maïté Albagly, Sandrine Baffert, Claude Mugnier, Marc Nectoux, Bertrand Thellot.


COM(2011)0254 Report on the interim evaluation of the ‘Daphne III programme 2007–2013’.


COM(2010) 171 Delivering an area of freedom, security and justice for Europe’s citizens, Action plan Implementing the Stockholm Programme, p. 13.



Set up in 1997, the Daphne programme has made its mark as the only EU programme seeking to combat violence against children, young people and women.

The Daphne Initiative was set up subsequent to a consultation held in 1997 with representatives of NGOs, Parliament, the Commission, specialists in the field of youth protection and members of the judiciary. Daphne’s objective was to promote action by NGOs with the aim of enhancing cooperation at European level. Funding of three million ecus per year was earmarked for the initiative and Daphne was tasked with supporting small-scale projects that brought NGOs from at least two Member States together to cooperate on research, data collection and analysis, identification and sharing of good practice, training, exchange and networking, awareness and information campaigns, actions that directly supported victims of violence and the development of political and practical tools. All the Member States could take part in the Daphne Initiative.

NGOs that proposed projects were encouraged to find partners among research institutes, law enforcement bodies, public authorities and schools, and also the media, as their cooperation could be extremely useful in combating violence.

NGOs responded en masse to the Commission’s offer and in the following two years the programme was funded to the tune of five million ecus.

In 2000 the Daphne Initiative was transformed into a multiannual programme covering the period 2000-2003 and allocated funding of EUR 20 million. The programme aroused a great deal of interest, both in the European Union and in various international bodies working to stop the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

The Daphne II and Daphne III programmes were launched in 2004 and 2007 respectively, with an average annual budget of EUR 10 million for Daphne II and EUR 16.7 million for Daphne III.

The Daphne III programme (2007-2013) formed part of the general programme ‘Fundamental Rights and Justice’.

The general objective of Daphne III is to contribute to the protection of children, young people and women against all forms of violence and to attain a high level of health protection, well-being and social cohesion. This is done by promoting the further development of Community policies, particularly in the fields of public health, human rights and gender equality, and by encouraging actions to protect children’s rights and to fight trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation. The programme is open to NGOs, public authorities and institutions (mainly universities and research institutions in the 27 EU Member States).

A very positive result with just a few adjustments needed

Over 500 projects have been implemented since 1997, details of which can be found on the Commission’s Daphne Toolkit website(1)..

NGOs showed a great deal of interest in the programme and submitted a far higher number of proposals to the Commission than could be funded from the programme’s budget.

Projects focused on a variety of fields, such as sexual, psychological or physical violence in various settings (institutions, schools, family).

Some of the most successful projects have dealt with the risks children face in surfing the Internet, certain little-known behavioural problems causing self-mutilation among young people, the health needs of women victims of trafficking, female genital mutilation, stopping child pornography, and bullying in schools.

The interim evaluation report of 11 May 2011 on the Daphne Programme mentioned a few points where it recommended some adjustments in implementation of the programme up to 2013.

In particular, it pointed out that the Member States do not all participate in the programme to the same extent. The Member States that have joined since 2004, and some others as well, are very poorly represented. The report also felt that dissemination of the projects’ results could be improved and proposed some measures to make the programme’s management more efficient.

Finally, the report called for the programmes to be refocused on the EU’s policy priorities. To this end, it recommended funding fewer projects but selecting ones on a larger scale.

The programmes future

The Commission is already planning to take measures to remedy the problems highlighted in the interim report, so that policies implemented are consistent and effective.

The Commission will clarify its intentions regarding the new-generation programmes ‘Justice’ and ‘Rights and Citizenship’ in the two proposals for a decision it is due to present in mid-November 2011 as part of the package for the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework.



Date adopted





Result of final vote







Members present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Edit Bauer, Andrea Češková, Marije Cornelissen, Silvia Costa, Tadeusz Cymański, Edite Estrela, Iratxe García Pérez, Zita Gurmai, Mikael Gustafsson, Mary Honeyball, Lívia Járóka, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Astrid Lulling, Barbara Matera, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Siiri Oviir, Antonyia Parvanova, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Nicole Sinclaire, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Marc Tarabella, Britta Thomsen, Marina Yannakoudakis

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Kent Johansson, Christa Klaß, Mariya Nedelcheva, Angelika Werthmann

Last updated: 19 January 2012Legal notice