Opinion to the European Commission on the public consultation on the protection of women against violence and the consultation on protection against gender-based violence
TO: THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
COPY TO: COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
DEAR MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,
Association Society and Values started its activity in 2007 in order to oppose the attempts of the government to legalize prostitution in Bulgaria. Such a law would have disastrous consequences for women, children and families, with a sharp increase in sexual exploitation and trafficking in women and children. Since then, we have actively opposed such policies against human dignity and freedom, marriage and the family.
In connection with the actions you have taken to protect women from violence, gender-based violence and domestic violence, it is very important to take into account the consequences for women of redefining gender and gender identity, other than biological with conventions such as the Istanbul Convention.
Such actions have led to an increase in violence against women and girls in sports competitions for women, sheltered housing and premises for women, kindergartens, schools and others in a number of countries. Of great concern is the permission to transfer 255 men identified as transsexual and non-binary to women’s prisons in California.
We are strongly against violence in any form. Bulgaria attaches great importance to the protection of women from violence and has adopted enhanced measures in national legislation in this area. Efforts to improve legislation, policies and measures to address the changing challenges continue. However, there is no way to protect women from violence if we do not take into account the biological differences between men and women and promote equal access and opportunities for biological men who pose a real threat to the safety, health and lives of women.
Decision № 13/27.07.2018 of the Constitutional Court of Bulgaria, with regard to gender and protection of women, in connection with the Istanbul Convention states:
“The Constitution and the entire Bulgarian legislation is built on the understanding of the binary existence of the human species. In fact, the Constitution unequivocally perceives the social dimension of gender in interaction with the biologically determined – Art. 47, para. 2 of the Basic Law.”
“Biological sex is determined by birth and is the basis of civil sex. The importance of the civil sex in the legal regulation of social relations (marriage, parenthood) requires ensuring clarity, in-disputability, stability and security.”
“However, if society loses the ability to distinguish between a woman and a man, the fight against violence against women remains only a formal but unenforceable commitment”.
In order to protect women from domestic and gender-based violence, we consider that you should avoid using terms such as “gender” and “gender identity”, for which there are no clear and generally accepted definitions, and which have different meanings in the different EU Member States.
In this regard, in response to the UN Human Rights Council of 15.02.2021. our government points out: “In all provisions and in relation to all recommendations where the terms “gender” and/or “gender identity” is used, Bulgaria considers the terminology in light of the gender binary model enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, where the physical attributes are indivisibly related to the social constructs.” 
The use of vague terminology creates legal uncertainty and unpredictability of consequences and the rule of law and weakens national protection for women.
In this regard, we urge you to uphold and promote the national competence and law of the Member States with regard to the fight against violence against women and girls, domestic violence and gender base violence.
Association Society and Values
До какво доведе Истанбулската конвенция в Европа?
 In the Criminal Code, the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence, the Law on Child Protection, the Law on Equality of Women and Men, the Law on Protection against Discrimination.
 The decision: http://www.constcourt.bg/bg/Acts/GetHtmlContent/f278a156-9d25-412d-a064-6ffd6f997310
In English https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m-McSPZ8QwjBHh_CmSLEayIoz_lAtyGHIrQJQO5x9xc/edit
The answer is in connection with the recommendations to Bulgaria from the member states to the UN Human Rights Council. “Response of the Government of Bulgaria on the recommendations addressed within the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, 6 November 2020″