Istanbul Convention: EU’s long-awaited ratification will pressure remaining states to implement

Author: Caroline Rhawi



Istanbul convention landscape 1

The EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention is one-step closer, as the European Parliament today voted to give their consent for the Council to ratify the Convention, which is the legally binding international instrument to combat violence against women and domestic violence.

Soraya Rodríguez Ramos (Ciudadanos, Spain), Renew Europe Coordinator in the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and shadow rapporteur on the report, declared:

Today is an important day for the EU's fight against violence against women and domestic violence. We are finally turning words into actions, getting a step closer to the EU's ratification of the Convention. This decision will step up the protection of all victims and the prevention and prosecution of these horrendous crimes in an integrated manner in all EU Member States. We will continue to work to provide the European Union with its own tools to combat gender-based violence”.

Once the Council have adopted their decision, the EU will finally officially - 6 years after signing - ratify the Istanbul Convention. This also means that the six remaining EU States that still have not ratified the instrument will have to implement and follow the convention.

Yana Toom (Eesti Keskerakond, Estonia), Renew Europe shadow rapporteur in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, says:

The accession of the EU to the Istanbul Convention is long overdue. Today, we can finally make a step forward. The accession will put an obligation on the EU to effectively create policies for the prevention of gender-based violence, the protection of victims and prosecution of perpetrators”.


The Istanbul Convention - developed by the Council of Europe - is a unique legally binding international instrument to combat violence against women and domestic violence. Signed in 2011, it entered into force in 2014. The European Union signed it in 2017. Since then, we are still waiting for its ratification. An important step was taken in December 2022 when all the EU Member States signed the Convention. 21 EU Member States ratified it. With the EU ratification, the pressure on the remaining 6 EU Member States - Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia - will be stronger.


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