Moving towards EU action on male violence against women
On 26 April, the EWL welcomed the EU adoption of Council Conclusions on ‘improving prevention to tackle violence against women and care to victims within the scope of law enforcement’. Reinforcing their 8 March Conclusions on the eradication of violence against women in the EU, the Member States hereby express anew their commitment to fight against all forms of violence against women, to developing comprehensive national strategies and an efficient response by the EU. Furthermore, the Conclusions insist on the need for international cooperation to protect victims.
The EWL believes that we have in 2010 the perfect momentum for an EU action on preventing and combating all forms of male violence against women. There are many signs of a political will to finally address this issue at EU level. The Spanish Presidency of the EU has made the fight against male violence against women one of its priorities and the European Parliament is calling on the Commission and the Council to make a proposal of Directive on the issue. The Women’s Charter, adopted by the Commission in March 2010, sees gender-based violence as a violation of fundamental rights which prevents the exercise of a self-determined life. We also hope that the new European Commission strategy on equality between women and men to be adopted later in 2010 will include strong action against violence against women.
A recent EU Barometer on ‘Gender equality in the EU in 2009’ shows that 62% of Europeans think that action to combat violence against women should be taken as a matter of priority. In its Action Plan Implementing the Stockholm Programme (April 2010), the European Commission states that ‘all policy instruments available will be deployed to provide a robust European response to violence against women and children’.
In a Contribution delivered to Commissioner Reding on 26 April, the EWL calls on the European Commission to deliver – and on the Member States to support – a strong, comprehensive and efficient European Strategy on the eradication of all forms of male violence against women, which would ensure the highest standards of prevention of violence, protection of women, and prosecution of perpetrators in the European Union. This strategy should encompass:
· A European Action Plan on the eradication of all forms of male violence against women;
· Designation of a European Year on the eradication of all forms of male violence against women;
· A dedicated EU programme to fund women’s NGOs working on male violence against women
Proposals of legally-binding instruments.