Today, 13 June 2017, we had a pleasure to witness the EU signing the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as 'Istanbul Convention'. The Convention was signed on behalf of the European Union by Ambassador Joseph Filletti, Permanent Representative of Malta to the Council of Europe and Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, in the presence of the Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.
The Istanbul Convention is the most comprehensive international treaty to combat violence against women and domestic violence and it recognises violence against women as a human rights violation that was also emphasized in the speeches given before the signing moment. The decision on signing is the first step in the process of the EU joining the Convention. So far 23 countries have ratified the Convention, including 14 EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden).