Europe Ecology – The Greens (EELV) chose the firm Aequality, an expert on gender-based and sexual violence, led by Marie Becker, to carry out an audit of the VSS Investigation and Sanction Unit (decided during its Federal Council of February 5 and 6, 2022 “the performance by an external body of an audit within one year, in order to assess the effectiveness of the operation of the unit”).
The audit concludes that it is necessary to strengthen the overall system and to maintain the unit on VSS internally with the necessary changes in order to remain consistent with the values carried by EELV.
Following this audit, EELV is determined to follow the recommendations relating to:
– structural modifications related to the architecture of the device;
– methodological and operating adjustments to the VSS Unit.
It is thus proposed to no longer include members from the Federal Council within the Unit for the imperatives of neutrality and independence, to create a real status for its members, and to transform the Sanctions Committee into a (permanent) disciplinary body, respecting the contradictory and the place of the victim.
The audit also recommends expanding the cell’s field of competence to “any situation of VSS committed by a member inside or outside the party, including outside the party’s activities, that is to say in the context of his private / professional life, likely to affect the proper functioning, values and reputation of the party”.
To improve the operation of the SGBV reporting and processing unit, it is also recommended:
- to set up a listening cell in parallel in order to facilitate and relieve the work of the cell, which, without this “airlock”, risks finding itself unable to act and being caught in a vice;
- to strengthen the training of its members, to provide them with a Vademecum of the investigation step by step;
- to further regulate the admissibility of a report (in particular the conditions for self-referral), the information of the person in question but also the processing times;
- to provide for the possibility for the internal cell to outsource investigations and/or to be accompanied by an expert for complex cases or cases involving “figures” of the party.
To carry out the audit, the Aequality team (composed of jurists and lawyers) analyzed internal party documents, conducted interviews, and administered an online perception survey among its members on their level of knowledge of the cell and the party’s involvement in the subject.
EELV will be accompanied for the implementation of the recommendations.
Through this work, EELV pursues its strong commitments in the fight against sexist and sexual violence within it.