Commission Announces New Victims’ Rights Strategy
On the occasion of the European Day for Victims of Crime on 22 February 2020 and following the xenophobic/racist attacks in Hanau/Germany on 19 February 2020, Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová and Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders announced a new Commission strategy for victims’ rights (2020-2024) by summer 2020. According to the Commissioners, 75 million people fall victim to crime every year across Europe. Although the EU has robust victims’ rights legislation in place, there are still too many victims whose rights are not equally guaranteed when a crime is committed in an EU country other than their own. The EU must therefore aim to guarantee equal rights, regardless of where in the EU a person falls victim to a crime.
The new victims’ rights strategy will:
- Empower victims;
- Strengthen cooperation and coordination between national authorities;
- Improve protection and support to victims;
- Facilitate access to compensation.
Support and protection of victims is currently ensured by the EU through the Victims’ Rights Directive (2012/29/EU), sector-specific regulations (e.g., protection of victims of human trafficking, child sexual abuse/child pornography, and terrorism), and a legal scheme that facilitates access to compensation in situations where the crime was committed in an EU country other than the victim’s country of residence.