The European Parliament on Thursday called on Brussels to make a proposal for include sexist violence in the list of crimes at the community level, a key step towards a future directive that criminalizes violence against women in all European criminal codes with common minimum standards.
The proposal went ahead by 427 votes in favor, 119 against and 140 abstentions. Among the Spanish deputies, all groups voted in favor except for the PP, who voted for the majority to abstain (except MEP Isabel Benjumea, who spoke out against) and the delegation of Vox (which has four deputies), He opposed to the report as an attempt to end the presumption of innocence.
The European list of crimes is included in an article of the treaties that allows setting “minimum standards” regarding the definition of crimes and their penalties “in areas of crime that are particularly serious and have a cross-border dimension”, a treatment that Parliament believes should be granted to gender-based violence in its different forms as is already done with terrorism or human trafficking.
This would allow the European Commission to make a proposal for a directive to prevent and combat this scourge, which in Spain it has left 34 women murdered by their partners or ex-partners so far in 2021 and 1,112 the global count since 2003 and of which many Member States of the Union do not have official statistics.
The European Parliament believes that the directive should employ the standards of the Istanbul Convention (for example, in the definition of rape based on the absence of consent) and include prevention, protection and support measures for victims and minimum standards in the definition of crimes and sanctions.
“If (the crime) is on this list, you have a definition, rules and criminal penalties common to the entire EU, all member states would have it within their penal code when currently the sexist violence in some state is not there. Therefore, you make a homogenization of the crime ”, he summarized Efe one of the speakers of the text, the MEP of ERC Diana Riba.
For the Catalan deputy, it is particularly important that, despite the fact that the European Union cannot legislate on the criminal codes of the Member States, a directive allows harmonize definitions across the community club of gender violence, with different legal traditions in this regard in each country.
MEPs also demand special care in the custody disputes and the visitation rights of minors where there is a case of sexist violence involved and that the denial of a safe abortion is also considered a form of gender crime.
This request has been one of the great points of friction in the preparation of this report, since some groups on the right of the hemicycle were not comfortable with this definition.
“It is not a novelty, in this Parliament amendments have been voted and approved in this direction. We hope there is responsibility. Those of us who are sure that the right to safe abortion is a necessity are the majority, ”said Riba.
Precisely this Wednesday the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that she will propose before the end of this year a European directive against violence against women to reinforce the existing criminal legislation in this area in the different countries of the European Union.
In her State of the Union address in Strasbourg, the Commission President stressed that the new legislative proposal will focus on prevention and creating effective criminal laws, including to combat online abuses, with a view to ensuring that “everyone that abuses women in the face of justice “.
However, he did not specify whether his proposal would include the inclusion of crimes of sexist violence in the list of European crimes, as requested by Parliament.
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