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EU potential accession to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

EU potential accession to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

 

SUMMARY OF:

Decision (EU) 2017/865 — signing the Council of Europe Convention on violence against women on behalf of the EU as regards cooperation in criminal justice

Decision (EU) 2017/866 — signing the Council of Europe Convention on violence against women on behalf of the EU as regards asylum and non-refoulement

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DECISIONS?

KEY POINTS

  • The Convention covers matters falling under EU and EU countries’ competence. The EU should therefore become a party to the Istanbul Convention alongside the EU countries so that, together, they can effectively fulfill the obligations laid down in the convention.
  • The decisions state that the Istanbul Convention should be signed on behalf of the EU as regards matters falling within the competence of the EU, insofar as the Convention may affect common EU rules or alter their scope.
  • Such EU competence exists in particular as regards the rules of the convention on judicial cooperation in criminal matters and asylum and non-refoulement (protection of a person against expulsion or return to a country where they would have reason to fear persecution — one of the essential components of refugee status and of asylum).

FROM WHEN DO THE DECISIONS APPLY?

They have applied since 9 June 2017.

BACKGROUND

  • The Istanbul Convention is the most comprehensive international treaty on combating and preventing violence against women* and domestic violence*. It was presented and opened for signature in 2011 and entered into force in August 2014. It is open for signature by the EU, which participated alongside the EU countries, as an observer, in its negotiation.
  • Council Decisions (EU) 2017/865 and (EU) 2017/866 were adopted in the context of 2017 being declared by the European Commission as a year focused on actions to fight violence against women.
  • For more information, see:

KEY TERMS

Violence against women: as defined in the Istanbul Convention, acts of gender‐based violence (i.e. violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately) that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
Domestic violence: as defined in the Istanbul Convention, all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence that occur within the family or domestic unit or between former or current spouses or partners, whether or not the perpetrator shares or has shared the same residence with the victim.

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Council Decision (EU) 2017/865 of 11 May 2017 on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence with regard to matters related to judicial cooperation in criminal matters (OJ L 131, 20.5.2017, pp. 11-12)

Council Decision (EU) 2017/866 of 11 May 2017 on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence with regard to asylum and non-refoulement (OJ L 131, 20.5.2017, pp. 13-14)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention), Strasbourg, 12 April 2011

last update 21.11.2017

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