NewsEU: SPEECH BY COMMISSIONER VITORINO-STOP Programme

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Subject: NewsEU: SPEECH BY COMMISSIONER VITORINO-STOP Programme
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Wed Jun 28 2000 - 09:43:26 EDT


05May00 EU: SPEECH BY COMMISSIONER VITORINO ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION NEWS RELEASE: SPEECH/00/168
DOCUMENT DATE: MAY 5, 2000
*
Antonio Vitorino
European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs
Violence against Women
Lisbon, 6 May 2000
*
Madam Minister
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all I would like to extend my thanks to the Portuguese Presidency
and particular to Mrs. Maria de Belim Roseira for organising this Seminar.
At the same time I would also like to thank you for inviting me to close
this session.
It is a great honour for me to have the opportunity to present to you at
the closing session of the conference a brief summary of the activities of
the European Union concerning the protection of women against different
forms of violence.
It is indeed a most regrettable fact that - to a greater or lesser extent -
women and girls are still subjected to physical, sexual and psychological
abuse. Although a low social and economic status of women makes them often
more susceptible to become victims of violence, this fundamental breach of
human rights and human dignity cuts across lines of income, class and
culture.
Member States have the prime responsibility in this area, but the European
Community can and has to play an active role in developing a coherent and
multidisciplinary European policy to prevent and combat violence against
women. The development in recent years clearly shows a gradually stronger
commitment to step up the fight at EU level, although further efforts are
undoubtedly necessary. Let me briefly give you an overview on the ongoing
and future activities falling under my direct responsibility as
Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs.
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DAPHNE
*
The new DAPHNE Programme, which builds on the previous DAPHNE initiative
will allow us to help victims of trafficking or sexual exploitation by
providing a financial contribution of 20 million euro for the year 2000.
Three novelties have been introduced into the new programme
it is no longer limited to NGOs and the voluntary sector; public
institutions may now apply;
it is open to the Central and Eastern European Applicant States, as well as
to Cyprus, Malta, Turkey and the EEA/EFTA countries;
multi-annual projects can be funded.
These changes provide in my view a real added value to the effectiveness of
the programme. I particularly welcome the participation of the applicant
countries. We share with them a serious common problem since there is a
clear trend involving the Central Eastern European countries as the most
important region of origin for both victims of trafficking and
perpetrators. In the framework of the Transatlantic Agenda the Commission
carried out various information campaigns in Poland and Hungary in order to
raise awareness within the population. We need to explore this possibility
also for future campaigns.
*
Legal approximation
*
The Amsterdam Treaty and the 1998 Vienna Action Plan provide a firm basis
for actions against trafficking in human beings. Last but not least the
European Council in Tampere gave a clear mandate for further action in the
fight against trafficking in women.
We have included this project into the scoreboard to review progress on the
creation of an area of freedom, security and justice in the EU. We have
started to prepare a communication covering a proposal for a Council
Framework Decision based on Art. 34 2b) of the TEU. It will take as a
starting point the key elements in the Joint Action of 1997. Of course the
implementation of the Joint Action in the Member States as well as its
shortcomings will have to be looked into. In addition the Communication
will also cover the issue of granting permits of stay to victims. The
proposal will foresee that a temporary right of abode could be granted to
victims of trafficking willing to testify in court against the traffickers.
*
STOP
*
Talking about trafficking it is also worth to say some words on the STOP
Programme. The deadline for applications under the programme this year was
the 31st of March and my services have started to evaluate and select
projects. The final adoption of projects by the STOP Committee will add at
about 20 projects to the previous 67.
The Commission will put forward this year a proposal for a renewal of the
programme for another five-year period starting from 2001 onwards. The
proposal will of course build on experiences gained from the first
programme. Many projects have been successful in promoting crossborder
co-operation. We also intend to open the renewed programme for organisers
from the candidate countries. It should as well offer the possibility to
run multi annual projects.
*
International co-operation
*
I should like to finish by clearly stressing the importance of
international co-operation should the fight against a phenomenon without
borders become successful. The Commission actively participates in the work
on the Draft UN Protocol on trafficking to supplement the Draft Convention
on Transnational Organised Crime where many outstanding questions have to
be looked into. I sincerely hope that the Convention and its protocols will
be adopted in due time.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Eurobarometer study that has been made during the campaign for
zero-tolerance of violence against women shows that in the Union one person
out of two believes that domestic violence is common. Only 60% think that
domestic violence is innaceptable in all circumstances. These figures
clearly show the necessity to maintain and reinforce actions within the
Union on the extent and the gravity of the problem. The Commission will
carry on with its efforts to continue and expand initiatives to prevent and
combat violence against women in order to fight this disgusting phenomenon.
Thank you for your attention.
END OF DOCUMENT.
EUROPEAN UNION PRESS RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE - EUROPEAN COMMISSION 05/05/2000


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