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Istanbul Convention. The European Parliament wants the Convention to be ratified and calls on the Member States of the European Union to ratify it

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The European Union is to ratify the Istanbul Convention, according to a report adopted by the European Parliament on Wednesday. MEPs also demand ratification of the convention by member states that have not yet done so.

In favor of the report that calls for ratification of the Istanbul Convention469 MEPs voted, 104 were against and 55 abstained.

The document states that the Istanbul Convention remains the international standard and a key tool in eliminating gender-based violence, including domestic violence. Attempts to undo the measures taken to implement the Convention by some Member States were also condemned, he said European parliament in the message.

The European Parliament wants the Istanbul Convention ratifiedPAP/EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

The text adopted by the European Parliament underlines that six years after the signing of the Convention, the EU still has not ratified it due to the refusal of several Member States. However, the opinion of the Court of Justice of the EU from 2021 – as stated – states that the EU can ratify it without the consent of all states.

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EU accession to the Istanbul Convention does not absolve member states from ratifying it themselves, say MEPs, who call on the other six countries – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia – to ratify the convention without delay, the European Parliament said.

Kohut: ratification will give a fuse to the inhabitants of Poland

One of the rapporteurs was Łukasz Kohut, MEP of the Socialists and Democrats (Left), who said during the meeting that ratifying the convention is extremely important for Polish women, because it will give them “a fuse that as long as Poland is in the EU, the anti-violence law will be in force.”

Kohut also pointed out that there were protests in Poland in defense of the convention. – Women and the men supporting them protested for weeks when illegal Constitutional Court forbade women from Poland to have abortions. Access to safe and legal abortion should be restored, this is what we call for in the report – he said.

The MEP also argued that the adoption of the convention by the entire EU would provide better protection for refugee women from Ukraine. – They flee their homeland through Slovakia or Hungary, where the Convention does not apply. Let’s spread the EU anti-violence umbrella over them, he stressed.

PiS MEPs against

PiS MEPs voted against this text. They said, among others that the Convention does not mention abortion in any way and that the EP text states that denying access to it is a form of gender-based violence. The Polish delegation of the Group of European Conservatives and Reformists was also against the EU acting as a state when signing an increasing number of international agreements.

MEP Beata Kempa (Solidarity Poland) argued that the European left “seemingly” fights violence against women, while statistics do not confirm that in countries ruled by the left the issue of protecting victims of violence is higher.

Beata Kempa (photo from November 2021)EBS

– Meanwhile, in the country that you so eagerly attack, in Poland, we have introduced revolutionary tools to combat domestic violence since 2020 – said Kempa. According to the MEP, Poland is today among the countries with the highest standard of protection for women.

Istanbul Convention

The 2011 Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the so-called Istanbul Convention) is intended to protect women against all forms of violence and discrimination. The Convention assumes that there is a relationship between violence and unequal treatment, and the fight against stereotypes and discrimination makes counteracting violence more effective.

Poland signed the convention in December 2012 and ratified it in 2015, declaring that it will apply it “in accordance with the principles and provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland”.

In July 2020, the Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro filed a request to initiate the procedure of denunciation of the Istanbul Convention.

Zbigniew Ziobro announces the termination of the convention (recording from July 2020)tvn24

In the same month, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki submitted a request to the Constitutional Tribunal to examine the constitutionality of the Convention. According to him, this document does not allow the state to be impartial with regard to ideological beliefs.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

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