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Daphne programme: Funding must be ensured to combat violence against women, young people and children, says FEMM Committee

[European Parliament, 20 December 2011] The Daphne programme’s funding must be held at a level comparable to that of the earlier programme and its profile within the new generation programme remain high, bearing in mind its success, its effectiveness and its popularity, said the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee on Tuesday in a resolution on the DAPHNE programme: results and prospects, noting that the Daphne programme would from 2014 be incorporated in the new Rights and Citizenship programme.

MEPs regretted that combating violence against children, teenagers and women was not explicitly mentioned in the "Specific objectives" of the Commission’s proposal for the ‘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. They stressed that this might undermine the DAPHNE programme’s visibility and consistency and jeopardise its success.

Ensuring funding

The Women’s Rights Committee reiterated Parliament’s position that the Daphne programme has been underfunded so far.

Rapporteur Regina BASTOS (EPP, PT) said: "My main concern has been to keep or step up finance for the Daphne programme, which is made part of a broader Rights and Citizenship programme, and to ensure the funding of the next period of 2014-2020. It should not be allowed for the Daphne programme to loose its profile; it needs to go on being an important trademark in the fight against violence against women."

More funding should be channelled into projects aimed at alerting the young in particular to the new forms of violence linked to the growing use of online social networks such as threats, psychological pressures, bullying or Internet child pornography, said the resolution adopted on Tuesday, 20 December, by 29 votes in favour, none against and one abstention.

Solving Daphne programme’s problems

The Committee suggested to ease the administrative burden, simplify grant application procedures and shorten the time between the publication of calls for projects and the conclusion of contracts which has prevented many small NGOs from proposing DAPHNE projects, noting the programme’s few problems as set out in the Commission’s ’Report on the interim evaluation of the ‘Daphne III programme 2007–2013’.

The text also proposed spreading the programmes more evenly across the different Member States and to avoid overlapping with other Community programmes in order to escape the risk of de-prioritizing DAPHNE issues.

EU legislative measures needed

Actions under the Daphne III programme were important but members of the Women’s Rights Committee nevertheless reiterated the need for legislative measures at European level to eradicate gender-based violence. A combination of targeted actions against gender stereotyping in the fields of education, gender equality, awareness-raising, health, and among the police and the judiciary could reduce gender-based violence significantly, stated the text.

According to various studies on gender-based violence, 20%-25% of all women in Europe have experienced physical violence at least once during their adult lives, and more than one-tenth have suffered sexual violence; 26% of children and young people have experienced physical violence in childhood.

Violence against women, children and young people encompassed 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 at work, in conflict situations or in prison or care institutions, and several harmful traditional practices such as genital mutilation, said the text.

Collecting data regularly

Member States should gather data regularly on violence against women to clarify the extent of the problem, stated the text.


Set up in 1997, the Daphne programme has made its mark as the only EU programme seeking to support organisations from all the Member States, candidate countries, EFTA states and the countries of the Western Balkans that develop measures and actions to prevent or to combat all types of violence against women and children. The first Daphne programme (2000 - 2003) was successful and was renewed twice, in 2004 and 2007. In between its budget increased from the equivalent of €20 million to almost €120 million for Daphne III.

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