Council Conclusions on Victims’ Rights
The Finnish EU Council Presidency addressed the subject of victims’ rights. During the Presidency, delegations of the EU Member States agreed on conclusions on victims’ rights that were adopted at the JHA Council meeting on 2-3 December 2019. The conclusions first take stock of the comprehensive EU framework in this field, including legislative and non-legislative measures. Second, they outline how the existing EU framework can be strengthened, more efficient implementation can be improved/made, and the way forward be developed. The conclusions identify concrete actions and initiatives to be taken by the Commission and the Member States.
The European Commission is invited to draw up an EU strategy for 2020-2024 on victims’ rights (for a corresponding demand by the Special Advisor, see eucrim 1/2019, p. 27). The strategy should be comprehensive and cover all victims of crime, with a special emphasis on victims of violent crimes. It should include a systematic approach to ensure victims’ effective access to justice and compensation. The Commission should also evaluate the existing legislation. The evaluation should particularly focus on a review of the established compensation scheme, such as the 2004 Directive relating to compensation to crime victims.
EU agencies, such as Eurojust, FRA, the European Institute for Gender Equality and the European Network on Victims' Rights (ENVR) are invited to examine how to improve cooperation between competent authorities concerning victims of violent crime in cross-border cases.
Member States are called on, inter alia, to ensure the complete and correct transposition and effective practical implementation of the existing EU legislation on victims’ rights. Member States should also strive for involving all actors likely to come into contact with victims (comprehensive and holistic approach). The functioning of national compensation policies must be improved.