Monday

18th Feb 2019

Victims of violence set for EU-wide protection

  • EU legislators want victims of gender violence protected throughout the Union (Photo: Topeka Library)

Battered women and other victims of violence will be afforded greater EU-wide protection under European Commission proposals voted through by euro-deputies in Strasbourg on Wednesday (22 May).

“We want to make sure that any victim of a crime can enjoy maximum protection of the territory of the European Union,” said Spanish centre-right MEP, Antonia Lopez-Isturiz White, one of two lead negotiators on the file.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

EU lawmakers want national civil restraining, barring or other protection orders recognised throughout the Union.

The idea is to enable victims to travel and live in other member states without having to worry about being followed or victimised again by the same aggressor.

The rules would apply to all victims of stalking, harassment or gender-based violence with extra emphasis on women.

Battered women would, for instance, have access to specialist support services from trained officials anywhere in the EU.

The formalities of getting protection will also be cut with paper work reduced down to a EU-wide standard civil protection certificate that can be ordered online.

The certificate is issued by the origin member state to the host and is said to encompass all the different civil measures required to protect victims. It is multi-lingual and free.

The certificate would automatically extend the person’s protection to a host member state once police are notified.

Details on the certificate would include the identity and, where possible, the address of the person causing the victim grief. The aggressor is also informed of the EU-wide protection order.

The regulation specifically covers threats to people’s “physical and psychological integrity” but only in civil and not in criminal cases. This includes threats to personal liberty, security and sexual integrity.

The regulation is part of a larger package of laws designed to protect victims, including a directive on victim’s rights that became EU law last November.

The latest draft proposal is set to complement the directive on the European protection order. The directive, for its part, deals exclusively with criminal cases.

“Together, the two instruments will cover the broadest possible range of protection measures taken by member states,” said Bulgarian Liberal Antonyia Parvanova, who helped draft the parliament’s report.

Some lawmakers believe the proposals could have gone further.

Spanish Socialist Carmen Romero Lopez said legislators were unable to agree on terminology.

“We do regret that at this point in fact we didn’t make progress in defining the crime of violence against women as continued aggression. To be realistic, we should have included this crime,” she noted.

Member states will next have to agree to the regulation though the commission wants it anchored into national laws by 2015 at the latest.

EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule, speaking on behalf of EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding, told the Strasbourg plenary that the commission will provide member states with guidelines and experts to ensure proper implementation.

“We will not allow these laws to become a dead letter … we will monitor transposition and compliance,” he said.

EU data verdict imminent on Romania's €20m reporters' fine

National data protection authorities from around the EU are about to make public their decision on a threat by Romania's data chief to force journalists to reveal their sources, in a case involving high-level political corruption.

News in Brief

  1. Czech PM: May's EU elections 'most important ever'
  2. 'History will judge us': May tells MPs on Brexit
  3. Trump warns EU on release of Islamist fighters
  4. Venezuela expels 'conspiratorial' MEPs
  5. Holocaust dispute upsets Israel's EU lobbying
  6. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April
  7. 15,000 Belgian school kids march against climate change
  8. May suffers fresh Brexit defeat in parliament

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  2. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  4. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  6. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  7. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”

Latest News

  1. Merkel defends Russia ties, ridicules Trump
  2. British MPs condemn Zuckerberg's misrule of Facebook
  3. EU's chance to step up on Hungary and Poland
  4. ESA pushback against new EU space agency plan
  5. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table
  6. Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?
  7. Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK
  8. Belgian spy scandal puts EU and Nato at risk

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us