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Monday, September 11, 2017

Istanbul Convention

The European Union institutions are currently considering acceding to the legally binding Istanbul convention. This Council of Europe instrument is designed to combat domestic violence and violence against women. However, despite having commendable aims it is a blunt and flawed instrument containing many unwanted agendas that are damaging to the foundations of the European Union.

In March 2017, the European Council approved the EU accession to the Istanbul convention on a limited basis. Now the European Council requires the approval of the European Parliament to adopt this position. On Tuesday the 12th of September 2017, the European Parliament will vote on this during the plenary session. However, the Parliament has gone way beyond its remit and has sought to extend the powers of the Istanbul convention. Hidden in the depths of the text are references to gender ideology which oppose any biological basis of male and female, instead affirming that gender is a sociological construct. In other words, the text affirms the position that a person can choose to be a man or a woman.

It is hoped that Members of the European Parliament will oppose this report, not because of the general subject matter of combatting domestic violence but rather on the fact that it is a flawed legal instrument which gives away the powers of individual EU member states to the Council of Europe. Although ECPM supports combatting domestic violence, we do not support this particular tool.

ECPM MEP Branislav Škripek on this development: "It is highly worrying that at a time when we need European cohesion a liberal ideology is being forced on all member states, taking away their sovereign choice as to whether to ratify this legally binding agreement. It is highly dubious to suggest that signing this convention actually helps women. It will be a lawyers dream as litigation is brought against member states for crimes that were not prevented - which is the very opposite of how legal principles have always worked. I hope my colleagues will also oppose this terrible proposal."