The Treaty of European Union (TEU) affirms gender equality and non-discrimination as fundamental principles (Article 2). Combating gender-based violence is one of the five priority areas of the EU’s Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019 and will continue to be so in the next phase 2020-2023. Ursula van der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, has committed to promoting gender equality and women’s rights.
Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of gender-based discrimination, which is rooted in social inequalities between men and women. Although similarities exist in national policies to combat violence against women, the Member States have adopted different approaches to address the problem.
In its interim resolution of 12 September 2017, the EU Parliament welcomed the signing of the Istanbul Convention by the EU and urged the Council to speed up EU accession, but also raised concerns about the scope of it. The EU Parliament also asked the Commission to be proactive in dispelling misconceptions about the Convention that has prevented a number of Member States from ratifying it, an issue raised again at the debate held in June 2018, one year after the signing by the EU.
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