EU Accession to the Istanbul Convention

Following a proposal of the European Commission, the EU is currently negotiating the EU ratification (conclusion) of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, the Istanbul Convention, the most comprehensive treaty in Europe that includes a set of multidisciplinary measures in a proactive fashion to prevent violence, protect its victims/survivors and prosecute perpetrators.

The European Women’s Lobby is conveining the European coalition to end violence against women and girls , a network of more than 25 European wide social and human rights NGOs, who have joined forces to ensure that the EU signs and ratifies the Istanbul Convention within the broadest scope of EU competence as possible.

We believe that the implementation of the Istanbul Convention will have a real impact on women’s lives in Europe who deserve to live a life free from all forms of violence! We expect A real commitment. Read our factsheet on the EU accession, join us and support our demands!

Timeline: the European Union signed the CoE Istanbul Convention on 13 June 2017, after the Council of the European Union agreed on two decisions limiting the scope of the signature to exclusive competence on judicial cooperation in criminal matters and asylum and non-refoulement. In September 2017, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on EU Accession to the Istanbul Convention with an overwhelming majority. The Resolution urges Member States to speed up the negotiations on the ratification of the Istanbul Convention by the EU and calls for a broad EU accession without any limitations. The resolution specifically calls for an EU Coordinator to lead the implementation of a holistic EU Strategy.

The European Commission, leaded by Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, took the initiative to dedicate 2017 to combating violence against women. Find more information here:

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EWL event "Progress towards a Europe free from all forms of male violence" to mark the 10th aniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 12 May 2021.

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