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Frances Fitzgerald proposes legislation for new EU-wide version of Coco’s Law

Press Statement from Frances Fitzgerald MEP


Monday 8th May 2023


Frances Fitzgerald proposes legislation for new EU-wide version of Coco’s Law

Frances to welcome Jackie Fox to the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week

Dublin MEP Frances Fitzgerald has proposed legislative amendments calling for Ireland’s legislation on cyber-bullying, known as Coco’s Law, to be replicated at EU-level. Frances Fitzgerald is the lead negotiator on the first ever EU legislation combatting violence against women, which includes provisions on cyber-bullying. This week, Jackie Fox, the mother of Nicole Fox who ended her own life in 2018, will visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg to meet MEPs. Nicole, affectionately referred to as “Coco”, was seriously bullied both in person and online for three years.

Since her daughter’s death, Jackie has led a national campaign to highlight the issues of online harassment and abuse. Jackie wants to make her daughter’s life and legacy live on, by ensuring that no one else loses their life due to these crimes.

In 2021, Ireland adopted Coco’s Law, with up to seven years in jail for those guilty of distributing or publishing intimate images of a person without consent.

MEP Frances Fitzgerald said, “Cyber-bullying must be tackled at EU-level. We must ensure that people across Europe have the same level of protection against online abuse. That is why I am working to finalise new legislation to combat cyber-bullying as part of a broader suite of measures to properly address violence against women in the EU. If agreed, this will be the first such EU legislation in this area. This as an international problem not just a domestic issue. We need greater protection internationally to ensure more lives are saved.

"We have already seen the tragic consequences of such abuse across Europe, including in Ireland. Tragedies must compel us to action to ensure that no other person has to go through the same pain and torment that Coco experienced. We can all take inspiration from Jackie Fox who, even amidst her grief, fought hard to ensure Coco’s Law saved lives of those who are victims of cyber-bullying. The EU needs to act; it needs to ensure this law is a reality for everyone across Europe.

“Bullying kills, we have a responsibility to prevent it as best we can.

“This legislation may have a different name to the law passed in Ireland but the legacy and memory of Coco will save lives across Europe.”

ENDS


Contact: Michael Ward



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