Deal reached on first EU law on violence against women

06.02.2024 18:24

Deal reached on first EU law on violence against women

Women saying "Stop"

"Today's agreement on the first ever EU law to combat violence against women marks a historic moment for women's rights in Europe," stated Frances Fitzgerald MEP, EPP Group-Vice Chair and the Parliament's lead negotiator on the new law.

"Thanks to this historic agreement, cyber violence against women will be banned across the EU. This legislation marks a crucial step forward in protecting women from the all too common digital abuse they encounter today," Fitzgerald underlined.

"Under the new legislation, women across Europe will no longer need to fear the unauthorised dissemination of their intimate images, including deepfakes, on the internet. Non-consensual sharing of such images will be recognised as a punishable crime, signalling a major shift in the realm of women's protection online," said Fitzgerald.

This directive will compel EU member states to take more decisive actions in punishing various forms of abuse against women, including cyberstalking. It sets minimum standards for addressing these crimes uniformly across the EU.

Fitzgerald expressed both pride and disappointment at the outcome of the negotiations, "while celebrating the progress made, we have to acknowledge that the law falls short of the comprehensive measures that many had hoped for, most notably, the inclusion of rape in the legislation. This is deeply disappointing," Fitzgerald stated. "The blame lies squarely with those Member states, notably France and Germany, that opposed its inclusion."

Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé MEP, EPP Group negotiator for the law in the Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, regrets that the legislation has been reduced to "half a law". "Today, with a restrictive definition of rape in certain Member States, including France, there are very few successful complaints. The issue is to broaden the scope of proof".

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

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