Together with European Parliament (EP) Civil Society Outreach Unit and EP Info Hub facility, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and WeMove Europe organise an event calling for a strong Directive on violence against women (VAW) and domestic violence (DV) in the framework of the interinstutional negotiations on the proposal that started in July 2023. The event will be an opportunity to highlight our support to the proposal made by the European Parliament and the European Commission and to call for a Directive that has a strong gender sensitive perspective and includes the offence of rape based on the “Only Yes Means Yes” approach.
The event will take place a week ahead of the next Trialogue meeting on 14 November. This is a key political moment in the negotiations of the first ever EU law on violence against women and domestic violence. EU Decision makers, and concretely Member States in the Council of the EU are still divided on a key aspect of the Directive: the article 5 on the offence of rape.
The event will send a strong message to Member States: Rape cannot be left out of a Directive on VAW as it is one of the most pervasive and brutal forms of violence against women and girls systematically used to silence women across Europe. Every women and girl, regardless of where they live in Europe deserve the same level of rights and protection, which clearly is not the case at the moment (Find here the EWL Observatory analysisof the legal definitions and the different approaches to rape in the EU that will be presented).
This event will give the opportunity to have a direct dialogue between citizen’s, women’s rights and civil society organisations, survivors, legal experts and key decision-makers at European and national level.
EWL and EWL members like the European Disability Forum (EDF), the European Network of Migrant women (ENOMW) and European Trade Unions Confederation (ETUC) will share their priorities on the Directive for the Trialogue negotiations (see here EWL priorities ).
Furthermore the event will count with two legal experts that will provide Member States with solid legal arguments in favour of the article 5. Arguments that have been endorsed by more than 70 Legal experts across the EU in this Open letter.
We will also highlight the added value of this article in ensuring the same adequate level of protection and access to justice for victims everywhere in the EU.
This event is part of a European wide campaign and mobilisation convened by the European Women’s Lobby and the WeMove Europe, to advocate and to raise awareness on the Directive and call for support at EU and national level. More than 98.000 citizen’s have signed the petition “Make Europe a safe place for women and girls” and their signatures have been delivered to the three EU Institutions and will be soon also delivered to the Ministries of Justice in France and Germany. More information on the campaign is available here.
The event is in person at the premises of the European Parliament InfoHub Facility.
RSVP to attend in person at the website of the Info Hub here.
For those unable to attend in person, a livestream will be made available EWL Youtube channel.
Right after the event WeMove Europe and the EWL will invite participants to join a street visual action to call for action against sexual violence and the culture of impunity, in Place Luxembourg in front of the European Parliament at 11h30.
Press is highly welcomed to attend the event and the street action as we are very glad to see that there is growing interest from press to cover this issue (find here links to press coverage in Politico, Euronews, Euroactiv, Arte, RTBF, Liberation, etc.).
A Slidoo will be made available for remote participants to ask a question. you can also put your question up via our press contact points, Carmen Grigelmo (WeMove Europe) and Mirta Baselovic (EWL). They will be in charge of addressing the questions to the speakers or setting up interviews for press.
8h30-8:45am Registration at the EP InfoHub; Esplanade Solidarność 1980, Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Bruxelles
8:45-9:20am Welcome Words to be given by
- Philipp Schulmeister, Director for Campaigns from DG COMM
- Viviane Teitelbaum EWL vice-president
Key message " Only Yes means yes"
- Marta Asensio, Survivor of rape (8 min approx. In Spanish with interpretation to English)
Rally: Demands towards a strong EU Directive on violence against women and domestic violence
Moderator: Laura Sullivan, Executive Director, WeMove Europe
- Carmen Grigelmo, Senior Campaigner, WeMove Europe
- Maria Joao Faustino, Executive Committee Member, European Women’s Lobby, EWL
- Marine Uldry, , Human Rights Policy Coordinator, European Disability Forum, EDF
- Alyssa Ahrabare, Head of Policy, European Network of Migrant women, ENOMW
- José Antonio Moreno Díaz, Member of the European Economic Social Committee, EESC, rappoteur of the EESC Opinion on Combatting violence against women.
Key notes on the Legal basis of the Directive and legal definitions on the offence on rape Moderator: Maria Joao Faustino, Executive Committee Member
- Prof. Dr. Sc. Snježana Vasiljević,M. Phil (Cantab) University of Zagreb - Faculty of Law (8 min) (Online)
- Dr. Lara Dimitrijevic, Lawyer Founding Partner at Sciberras Associates, Malta (8 min) –PPT possible.
Directive on violence against women: a comprehensive tool to ending VAW. Decision makers perspectives Moderator: Marion Boeker, EWL Executive Committee Member
- Karen Vandekerckhove, Head of Unit, Gender Equality, DG Justice (tbc).
- Representative Perm Rep/Spanish Presidency (tbc)
- Dr Katarzyna Szkuta, European and International Affairs Advisor to the State Secretary for Gender Equality, Equal opportunities and Diversity Marie Colline Leroy –Belgium
- Ms Irena Andrassy, Ambassador Permanent Representation of Croatia to the EU
- Mr Ioannis Vrailas , Ambassador Permanent Representation of Greece to the EU
- MEP Frances Fitzgerald (EPP, Ireland), Rapporteur FEMM Committee European Parliament
11h30 – Place Luxembourg
We will build collectively a pyramid on sexual violence to highlight the numerous breaches to women’s rights.
Speeches of WeMove and EWL together with:
MEP Evin Incir (S&D, Sweden), Rapporteur LIBE Committee, European Parliament