CoE: Decision on Istanbul Convention a step backwards

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CoE: Decision on Istanbul Convention a step backwards

29. 11. 2019 14:40

On Thursday, the Slovak Parliament voted to pass a resolution directed against the Istanbul Convention. The proposal was submitted by MPs from the junior ruling coalition partner, the Slovak National Party (SNS). In the document, Parliament rejects Slovakia being bound by the Istanbul Convention through EU decisions. At the same time, it does not agree with the EU acceding to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence as a whole without any restrictions.

According to the document, the government is to "use all possibilities" of action against the EU and Council of Europe institutions to implement the resolution and to prevent any possible obligations under the Istanbul Convention that are not in Slovak law. Peter Pellegrini's Cabinet is also to inform the Court of Justice of the EU and other institutions of the resolution without delay.


Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric criticised as a "step backwards" the decision of the Slovak Parliament. "European governments should do more to end violence against women, not less," stated the CoE secretary general. At the same time she called on "all responsible politicians at the national level ... to dispel misconceptions and misunderstandings about the convention".


The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, known as the Istanbul Convention, entered into force on August 1, 2014. Today, 34 Council of Europe member states have ratified the treaty.

In March 2019, the Slovak Parliament approved a resolution to make it clear that Slovakia does not intend to become a signatory to the Council of Europe's Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (The Istanbul Agreement). According to the lawmakers, it is necessary to ensure that Slovakia will not be forced to observe the agreement even through decisions and measures of the EU.

Martina Šimkovičová, Photo: TASR

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