PES and PES Women praise proposed Directive on tackling gender-based violence

PES and PES Women praise proposed Directive on tackling gender-based violence

The Party of European Socialists (PES) and PES Women – the organisation promoting gender equality and women’s representation both inside and outside the party – today praised European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, for bringing forward the proposal for a Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence.

PES Women has been calling for a Directive for almost a decade and also included it in their recent manifesto to make Europe a zero-tolerance zone for gender-based violence.

The proposed Directive will create a common EU-wide minimum standard for women who experience certain forms of gender-based violence and improve the EU’s ability to monitor, analyse and support national-level policies to tackle these crimes. It also proposes EU-wide standards for victim-support and to criminalise perpetrators. An important element is also enhanced data and the support of national equality bodies. Alongside the Istanbul Convention, the Directive is a vital part of the comprehensive framework needed to combat violence against women and domestic violence, including in areas such as online violence.

PES Women President Zita Gurmai said:

“We commend Commissioner Dalli for this Directive. We have been calling for it for nearly a decade, and it is a progressive commissioner who is now delivering it. Today is a good day for Europe to getting closer to a Union of Equality. It gives hope to everyone who has campaigned for an EU legal framework and a proper tool to combat gender-based violence. The next steps must happen as quickly as possible so we can put this into place without delay. Women have already waited too long.”

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“I thank Commissioner Dalli for her determination. I know this Directive is something she, alongside the whole progressive political family, has been working towards for some time. Thanks to her work, women in Europe can look forward to a safer and just future.”

A progressive outcome to the trialogue on the Directive is now needed, alongside the extension of the list of EU crimes to hate speech and hate crime to criminalise other forms of gender-based violence, as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised last December. 

PES Women has campaigned for strong action on gender-based violence, including for the introduction of a definition of rape based on the lack of consent across the EU, better reporting and an enhanced role for equality bodies, better mechanisms to support victims, and for all EU member states to implement the Istanbul Convention.