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Decision No 779/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the CouncilShow full title

Decision No 779/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007 establishing for the period 2007-2013 a specific programme to prevent and combat violence against children, young people and women and to protect victims and groups at risk (Daphne III programme) as part of the General Programme Fundamental Rights and Justice

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U.K.+E.U.

Decision No 779/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council

of 20 June 2007

establishing for the period 2007-2013 a specific programme to prevent and combat violence against children, young people and women and to protect victims and groups at risk (Daphne III programme) as part of the General Programme ‘Fundamental Rights and Justice’

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 152 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(1),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(2),

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(3),

Whereas:

(1) The Treaty lays down that in the definition and implementation of all Community policies and activities a high level of human health has to be ensured; Article 3(1)(p) thereof requires Community action to include a contribution to the attainment of a high level of health protection.

(2) Community action should complement national policies directed towards improving public health, obviating sources of danger to human health.

(3) Physical, sexual and psychological violence against children, young people and women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life, constitute a breach of their right to life, safety, freedom, dignity and physical and emotional integrity and a serious threat to the physical and mental health of the victims of such violence. Such violence, being so widespread throughout the Community, constitutes a genuine violation of fundamental rights, a health scourge and an obstacle to the enjoyment of safe, free and just citizenship.

(4) The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. According to a 1996 WHO Assembly resolution, violence is a leading worldwide public health problem. In its report on violence and health of 3 October 2002 WHO recommends promoting primary prevention responses, strengthening responses for victims of violence and increasing collaboration and exchange of information on violence prevention.

(5) These principles are recognised in numerous conventions, declarations and protocols of the main international organisations and institutions such as the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) the World Conference on Women and the World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.

(6) The fight against violence should be placed within the context of the protection of fundamental rights, as recognised by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union(4) and the accompanying explanations, bearing in mind its status, which recognises, inter alia, the right to dignity, equality and solidarity. It includes a number of specific articles relating to protection and promotion of physical and mental integrity, equal treatment for men and women, the rights of the child and non-discrimination, as well as recognising the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment, slavery and forced labour, and child labour. It recognises that a high level of human health protection is necessary in the definition and implementation of all Community policies and activities.

(7) The Commission has been called upon by the European Parliament to draw up and implement action programmes to combat such violence, inter alia, in its Resolutions of 19 May 2000 on the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: ‘For further actions in the fight against trafficking in women’(5); of 20 September 2001 on female genital mutilation(6); of 17 January 2006 on strategies to prevent the trafficking of women and children who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation(7); and of 2 February 2006 on the current situation in combating violence against women and any future action(8).

(8) The Community action programme set up by Decision No 293/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 January 2000 adopting a programme of Community action (Daphne programme) (2000 to 2003) on preventive measures to fight violence against children, young people and women(9) has helped to raise awareness within the European Union and to increase and consolidate cooperation between organisations in the Member States active in combating violence.

(9) The Community action programme set up by Decision No 803/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 adopting a programme of Community action (2004 to 2008) to prevent and combat violence against children, young people and women and to protect victims and groups at risk (Daphne II programme)(10) further developed the results already achieved by the Daphne programme; according to Article 8(2) of Decision No 803/2004/EC the Commission shall take the necessary steps to ensure the consistency of the annual appropriations with the new financial perspectives.

(10) It is desirable to ensure continuity for the projects supported by the Daphne and Daphne II programmes.

(11) It is important and necessary to recognise the serious immediate and long-term implications of violence against children, young people and women for their physical and mental health and for their psychological and social development, as well as for the equal opportunities of those concerned, for individuals, families and communities, and the high social and economic costs to society as a whole.

(12) Violence against women takes many forms ranging from domestic violence, which is prevalent at all levels of society, to harmful traditional practices associated with the exercise of physical violence against women, such as genital mutilation and honour-related crimes, which constitute a particular form of violence against women.

(13) Children, young people or women who witness a near relative being assaulted should be regarded as victims of violence in accordance with the programme established by this Decision (the programme).

(14) With regard to the prevention of violence, including abuse and sexual exploitation perpetrated against children, young people and women and the protection of victims and groups at risk, the European Union can bring added value to the actions predominantly to be undertaken by Member States by the following means: the dissemination and exchange of information, experience and good practices; the promotion of an innovative approach; the joint establishment of priorities; the development of networking as appropriate; the selection of Community-wide projects including projects supporting free-phone child helplines and hotlines for missing and sexually exploited children; the motivation and mobilisation of all parties concerned; and Europe-wide awareness-raising campaigns against violence. These actions should also encompass support for children, young people and women who are victims of trafficking in human beings.

(15) As the root-causes and consequences of violence can often be effectively addressed by local and regional organisations acting in cooperation with their counterparts from other Member States, the programme should attach due weight to the preventive measures and actions in support of victims taking place at a local and regional level.

(16) Since the objectives of this Decision, namely to prevent and combat all forms of violence against children, young people and women, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States because of the need for an exchange of information at the Community level and for the Community-wide dissemination of good practices, and can be better achieved at Community level due to the need for a coordinated and multidisciplinary approach and by reason of the scale or impact of the programme, the Community may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Decision does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.

(17) This Decision lays down, for the entire duration of the programme, a financial envelope constituting the prime reference, within the meaning of point 37 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(11), for the budgetary authority during the annual budgetary procedure.

(18) Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(12), hereinafter ‘the Financial Regulation’, and Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002 of 23 December 2002 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(13), which safeguard the Community’s financial interests, have to be applied, taking into account the principles of simplicity and consistency in the choice of budgetary instruments, a limitation on the number of cases where the Commission retains direct responsibility for their implementation and management, and the required proportionality between the amount of resources and the administrative burden related to their use.

(19) Appropriate measures should also be taken to prevent irregularities and fraud and the necessary steps should be taken to recover funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used in accordance with Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities’ financial interests(14), Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities’ financial interests against fraud and other irregularities(15) and Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)(16).

(20) The Financial Regulation requires a basic act to be provided to cover operating grants.

(21) The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission(17).

(22) The balanced participation of women and men in the decision-making process is a key element in the achievement of substantive equality between women and men. The Member States should, therefore, use their best endeavours to achieve a gender balance in the composition of the committee referred to in Article 10,

HAVE DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

(3)

Opinion of the European Parliament of 5 September 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal), Council Common Position of 5 March 2007 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and Position of the European Parliament of 22 May 2007 (not yet published in the Official Journal).

(12)

OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1995/2006 (OJ L 390, 30.12.2006, p. 1).

(13)

OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 478/2007 (OJ L 111, 28.4.2007, p. 13).

(17)

OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23. Decision as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC (OJ L 200, 22.7.2006, p. 11).

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