The European Union has ratified today the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CETS No. 210), known as “Istanbul Convention”. In a ceremony at the Palais de l’Europe, in the presence of Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić, Ambassador Mårten Ehnberg, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the Council of Europe (Presidency-in-office of the Council of the European Union), and Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality, have deposited the instrument of approval.
“This is a day to celebrate, but also to reflect upon the work still ahead of us. By acceding to the Council of Europe ‘Istanbul Convention’ which is the benchmark for international standards in this field, the EU reaffirms the Convention’s centrality and importance. The EU contains 14 out of the 20 top ranking countries worldwide on gender equality. Even so, some 22 percent of women in the EU have experienced violence from an intimate partner. By acceding to the convention, the EU gains an important tool to combat violence against women and domestic violence”, said Paulina Brandberg, Swedish Minister for Gender Equality and Working Life.
As of today, the treaty has been ratified by 38 Parties (37 States and the European Union). It is signed by all EU Member States, and ratified by 21 (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden).
“For us to live in a fair and equal European Union, women and girls must be able to live free from fear, violence, and everyday insecurity. With the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, the EU guarantees that minimum criminal legal standards apply to counter violence against women and domestic violence across the union, and the message that tackling these forms of violence is a priority”, highlighted Commissioner Dalli.
This landmark treaty opens the path for creating a legal framework at pan-European level to protect women against all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute, and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence. The Convention also establishes a specific monitoring mechanism (GREVIO) to ensure effective implementation of its provisions.
“The Declaration adopted in the Council of Europe Summit of Heads of State and Government in Reykjavik endorsed the Council of Europe’s pioneering role in the fight against violence against women and domestic violence. With Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Moldova ratifying just last year and now the European Union, I have no doubt that this positive trend and virtuous circle will continue. I hope that EU member states that have not yet become states parties will now be inspired to do so”, declared Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić.
The Convention will enter into force as regards the European Union on 1st October 2023.
Read the text of the Istanbul Convention