Young women protesting

EU: Historic opportunity to combat gender-based violence squandered 

Reacting to announcement of the political agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on the Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office, Eve Geddie said:  

“Today’s agreement is deeply disappointing and falls far short of the historic step forward in the fight against gender-based violence that we have long campaigned for.

“While it contains positive elements, many excellent proposals by the Commission and the Parliament that would have ushered in strong and binding measures, were needlessly shot down by member states. These include the introduction of a harmonised consent-based definition of rape, blocked among others by France and Germany, and the obligation to ensure safe reporting mechanisms for undocumented women. 

“While the recognition of intersectional discrimination in the Directive is welcome, the omission in Article 35 of groups at heightened risk of gender-based violence, such as LBTQI women, undocumented women and women in sex work, is a glaring one.   

“We remind governments that this Directive only sets minimum standards and we call on member states to aim much higher in their implementation.”


As this draft Directive was being negotiated, Amnesty and other civil society partners urged the Parliament, Council and the Commission to consider recommendations that would strengthen the protection of the rights of survivors of gender-based violence and domestic violence.

Analysis of the full Directive will be conducted as soon as it is available.