Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Vilija Blinkevičiūtė together with her colleagues has proposed that 2016 should be named the European year to fight violence against women. The initiative has been supported by over 400 MEPs.
Vilija Blinkevičiūtė
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

It is rare for a written declaration to be supported by so many MEPs. It is the first such occasion in the term of office of this European Parliament (EP). If more than half of MEPs support a written declaration, then the European Commission (EC) has to react. The declaration will be voted in at the nearest plenary session of the EP in Strasbourg. Blinkevičiūtė's office announced that later the declaration would be submitted to the EC, the Council of Europe and Parliaments of EU Members States.

Blinkevičiūtė has said that every third European woman aged over 15 faces violence, while on average seven women die from violence every day. The MEP says this cannot be ignored or tolerated any longer.

Blinkevičiūtė hopes that the EC will take into account the will of MEPs elected by European people and will name 2016 the European year to fight violence against women. This would increase attention towards the issue and funds allocated to deal with the problem would grow substantially. She says the society incurs great losses due to violence against women, therefore she will continue to strive to have the EC adopt a directive on combating violence against women which would be compulsory for all EU Member States.

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