All women wherever they live in Europe must be protected against all forms of violence, say S&Ds

Bruised young woman

S&D Euro MPs today welcomed the European Union’s decision to sign the Council of Europe convention on preventing and combating violence against women, confirming that this fight is a European priority.

S&D Group spokeswoman for women’s rights and gender equality Iratxe García Pérez MEP said:

"Today the Council approved the decision for the EU to sign the Istanbul Convention. This is good news for millions of women across Europe. Time is running out considering that one third of all women in Europe have experienced physical or sexual acts of violence.

"This decision will increase the pressure on the 14 EU member states* which have not yet ratified the Istanbul Convention. As Socialists and Democrats, we want women wherever they live in Europe to be protected against all forms of violence.”

S&D Euro MP and European Parliament’s co-rapporteur on this issue Christine Revault d’Allonnes de Bonnefoy added:

“The EU's signature of the Istanbul Convention is a very important a step forward to prevent and combat violence against women.  However, I deeply regret the Council's decision not to support the broadest accession possible, which the European Parliament called for.

“My top priority is still to ensure that signing up to this convention makes a real difference in ending violence against women, once and for all. I will now pay close attention to the negotiation of a Code of Conduct defining the co-operation between the EU and its member sates for the implementation of the convention. I call for a swift and flexible agreement in order for all parties to act efficiently.

“In this time of distrust between the EU and its citizens, the EU joining the Istanbul Convention is a great example of how the EU has a positive impact on the daily lives of its citizens. Together, we will move forward to protect the fundamental rights of women to live free from violence wherever they are in Europe."

*EU member states which have not ratified the Istanbul convention: Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Estonia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Slovak Republic and the UK.