Walby European Parliament 050314

Strategic Action at the
European Union level:
Ways forward to prevent
violence against women
Sylvia Walby
Distinguished Professor of Sociology, UNESCO Chair in Gender Research
Lancaster University, UK
Ways forward
 Legal action
There are legal bases for Directives
Economic policy
 Action to prevent cost violence against women
(VAWG) to EU of €228bn
 Use of structural funds
 Protect specialised service provision
Gender balance in decision-making
 From corporate boards to judicial authorities
Strategic Plan
Alternative legal strategies
 Incremental, step by step, gradual,
accumulation of small changes
Existing practice of EU Commission
 Big bold change
European Parliament Resolution, Feb 2014
 Draws
on Article 225 of Treaty on the
Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)
 Innovative use of TFEU
Extending VAW policy in economic field
6 existing Directives
concerning VAWG
 EU Directives on specific aspects of VAWG
Protection orders: 2011/99/EU
Trafficking: 2011/36/EU
Child sex abuse: 2011/92/EU
Victim’s rights: 2012/29/EU
Harassment (both gender and sexual) in
employment: 2002/73/EC
Harassment in sale and distribution of
goods, services: 2004/113/EC
Incremental change via
Directives supported by TFEU
 Civil and criminal law: Article 82 (1)(a)(d)
Judicial cooperation
 Criminal law: Article 82(2)
 Mutual recognition of criminal judgements with
a cross-border dimension
 Serious criminal law: Article 83(1)
 minimum rules for definition of serious crimes
with cross-border dimension: ‘trafficking in
human beings &sexual exploitation of women
& children’
Don’t forget discrimination law
 Harassment Directives (2002, 2004)
Employment law: Article 157(3)
 Equal treatment in employment includes antiharassment: Ordinary legislative procedure
 Equality law: Article 19
 To extend the fields in which to combat
discrimination based on sex
 Special procedure requires unanimous action
of Council
 Ordinary procedure restricts actions to nonlegislative
What are the limits?
 Changes to MS laws under TFEU 82, 83 require a field of
existing criminal law that is already nearly harmonised if
‘ordinary legislative route’ to be used
Neither ‘gender-based violence against women’ nor
‘domestic violence’ have nearly harmonised definitions in
MS criminal law, so fail this criteria
 But some areas fit, e.g. rape, domestic assault
 And
 TFEU Art 19 could create new fields, though requires a
special legislative procedure
 TFEU Art 225 allows Parliament to ask Commission to do
something new
 Other actions possible in field of economy
Directive on rape?
 Rape meets Article 83 requirements
‘cross-border dimension’
‘sexual exploitation of women and children’
 Judicial cooperation requires shared
minimum rules; this needs changes in
MS law concerning
No marital exemption
Consent-based standard
Directive on domestic assault?
 Meets the requirements under Article 82
Minimum rules for purposes of crossborder judicial cooperation
 Changes:
 no marital exemption to application of
criminal laws on assault
From Gender Harassment to Genderbased violence?
 ‘Harassment on grounds of gender’ already
Contrary to EU law on equal treatment and nondiscrimination: Articles 157 and 19 TFEU
 ‘Gender based violence against women’ is
logically a sub-type of gender harassment
 Clarification of this would assist judicial
cooperation in EU law
In fields of ‘employment’ and ‘sale and distribution
of goods and services’ ordinary procedures are OK
But extending locations beyond these would
require Council unanimity
Extending VAWG policy into
employment and economy
 Since VAWG is a detriment to women’s
employment, then actions within the
employment field are relevant
 Reintegration into labour market: Article 153
 European Structural Funds: Article 162
 Broad economic guidelines: Article 5
 Services general economic interest: Article 14
 EU allows MS to decide which services are of
‘general economic interest’ rather than of
‘economic interest’ thus whether they are subject
to competition law or not
Cost of violence against
 Cost of VAW in EU is €228bn a year
 3 types of costs
Public/state funded services (health, justice,
specialised services)
Lost economic output: detriment to economic
Pain and suffering to victim/survivor
Research, external relations, public
health: further bases for nonlegislative EU action
 Research and statistics: Article 338
 Surveys and research on gender based violence
could be authorised as pursuing EU goals to
combat sex discrimination
 External relations: Article 214
 Anti-VAWG could be explicitly included in
external relations e.g. Humanitarian aid
 Public health: Articles 6a, 9, 168
 E.g. Funding Daphne for knowledge exchange
since VAWG a detriment to public health
Gender balance in decisionmaking
 Gender balance in decision-making
EU policy
UN Security Council policy: peacekeeping
Recent EU attempts to apply to corporate
 Apply to judicial authorities?
Conclusions: Ways forward
 Law/Directives
New minimum standards in specific areas to enable
judicial cooperation across borders
 To combat discrimination that is violence-based
Economic policy: embed VAWG into economic policy
 Structural funds
 Broad economic guidelines
 Protect specialised services
Gender balance in decision-making
Strategic plan
 S. Walby. Legal perspectives for action at EU level. European
Parliament Value Added Unit. 2013
 S. Walby and P. Olive. Cost of VAWG in EU. EP VAU. 2013.
 S. Walby et al. Overview of the worldwide best practices for
rape prevention. European Parliament (EP). 2013.
S. Walby & J. Allen, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault & Stalking:
Findings from the British Crime Survey. Home Office. 2004
S. Walby. The Cost of Domestic Violence. Department of Trade and
Industry Women and Equality Unit, 2004.
J. Towers and S. Walby Measuring the impact of cuts in public
expenditure on the provision of services to prevent violence against
women and girls. Northern Rock &Trust for London. 2012.
S. Walby The Future of Feminism. Polity 2011.
S. Walby Globalization and Inequalities. Sage, 2009.