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Opinion 1/19 on the EU’s Accession to the Istanbul Convention: Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel Yet?

Location: Room Rome/Lisbon, Brussels School of Governance, Pleinlaan 5, 1050 Brussels
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On 6 October 2021, the Court of Justice of the EU delivered its much anticipated Opinion on the accession of the EU to the Istanbul Convention. The Council of Europe's Istanbul Convention aims at preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence. It has been in force since 2014 and 21 EU Member States have ratified it whereas the EU has yet to accede to it. The request for an Opinion submitted by the European Parliament gave the Court of Justice the opportunity to offer guidance on questions of competences and appropriate legal bases as well as the procedure for the adoption of the decision to accede to the Istanbul Convention. Will this Opinion give impetus to the EU efforts to accede to the Istanbul Convention? 



  • Pieter van Cleynenbreugel, Professor of EU substantive law at the Faculté de Droit, de Science Politique et de Criminologie, University of Liège
  • Anders Neergaard, Head of External Relations Unit, Legal Service, European Parliament
  • Jean Francois Brakeland, representative of the European Commission
  • Allan Rosas, former judge of the Court of Justice



  • Kristin Henrard, Professor of international law at the Brussels School of Governance and co-director of VUB’s Fundamental Rights Centre