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50 women lose their lives to domestic violence in Europe every week

September 16, 2021
Around 50 women lose their lives to domestic violence every week, and 75 percent of women within a professional setting have experienced sexual harassment, according to a report by the European Parliament Thursday.
Around 50 women lose their lives to domestic violence every week, and 75 percent of women within a professional setting have experienced sexual harassment, according to a report by the European Parliament Thursday.

BRUSSELS — Around 50 women lose their lives to domestic violence every week, and 75 percent of women within a professional setting have experienced sexual harassment, according to a report by the European Parliament Thursday.

The report called for targeted legislation and policies to address all forms of violence and discrimination based on gender against women and girls. It called for online and offline gender-based violence to be treated as a “particularly serious crime with a cross-border dimension.”

Moreover, It called on the European Commission to list gender-based violence as a new area of crime alongside other crimes that need to be combatted on a common basis, such as human, drug, and arms trafficking, computer crime and terrorism. The parliament adopted the report by 427 votes in favor, 119 against, and 140 abstentions.

On Lebanon. The European Parliament Thursday called on political leaders in Lebanon to implement “meaningful and deep economic and governance reforms, “including to restore economic stability and the credibility of the financial sector.”

In a resolution adopted by 575 votes in favor, 71 against and 39 abstentions, the EP calls on the European Commission and EU member states to engage constructively with the new Lebanese government in delivering the reforms required to unlock significant EU macro-financial assistance.

The Lebanese authorities should resume talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as soon as possible to support struggling people in Lebanon through reforms, stresses the resolution.

The European Parliament also on Thursday adopted a resolution saying that the European Union needs to cut its dependency on Russian gas, oil and other raw materials.

The European Green Deal and the boosting of new resources will play a crucial geopolitical role in achieving this, says the resolution approved by 494 votes in favor, 103 against with 72 abstentions.

Further, the resolution calls on the EU to build its capacity to expose and stop the flows of dirty money from Russia, as well as to expose the resources and financial assets that regime-linked autocrats and oligarchs have hidden in EU member states.

It calls on the EU to be prepared to withhold recognition of the Russian parliament if the parliamentary elections in September are conducted in violation of democratic principles and international law.

The resolution calls on the EU to establish an alliance with the US and other like-minded partners to counterbalance the efforts of Russia and China to weaken democracy worldwide.

In a separate resolution adopted today on China, the European Parliament said the EU should continue talking to China about global challenges like climate change and health crises, while raising its concerns over systemic human rights violations.

The resolution, adopted by 570 votes in favor, 61 against with 40 abstentions, outlines six pillars on which the EU should build a new strategy to engage with China.

They are cooperation on global challenges, engagement on international norms and human rights, identifying risks and vulnerabilities, building partnerships with like-minded partners, fostering strategic autonomy and defending European interests and values.

It proposes continued EU-China cooperation on a range of global challenges, such as human rights, climate change, nuclear disarmament, fighting global health crises and the reform of multilateral organizations.

The European Parliament on Wednesday had adopted the reform of the EU Blue Card scheme to facilitate the employment of highly qualified non-EU nationals and help alleviate labor shortages in key sectors in Europe.

The Blue Card regulation, in place since late 2009, defines the conditions of entry and residence that non-EU country nationals and their family members must meet to take up highly qualified employment in EU member states.

However, the scheme has not attracted enough of these much-needed workers, with only 36, 806 Blue Cards issued in the EU in 2019 with Germany issuing most of them. The reform of the Blue Card scheme was backed by the Parliament with 556 votes to 105 and 31 abstentions.

Under the revised rules, applicants will need to present a work contract or a binding job offer of a minimum of six months as well as evidence of higher qualifications or professional skills. Currently, a 12-month contract or offer is required.

Refugees will also be able to apply for an EU Blue Card in members states other than the one where they received asylum. Holders of an EU Blue Card will be able to move to another EU member state after an initial 12-month period in the country that first granted them the Blue Card.

They will also benefit from being reunited with family members swiftly through faster reunification procedures and access to the labor market for accompanying family members. — Agencies


September 16, 2021
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