Council Conclusions on Vulnerable Persons
On 7 June 2021, the Justice and Home Affairs Council approved conclusions on the protection of vulnerable persons, with regard to civil and criminal law matters. The conclusions point out that further action is needed with regard to vulnerable adults whether they are suspects or accused in criminal proceedings or victims of crime. Vulnerable adults experience a number of difficulties, especially in cross-border situations, that may impair the full exercise of their procedural rights. The Council calls on the Member States:
- To use available funding opportunities from the EU budget to develop actions related to the protection and promotion of the rights of vulnerable adults, including on digital literacy and skills (as regards both civil and criminal law matters);
- To ensure the full implementation of the existing legislative Union framework with regard to vulnerable persons, e.g., the Victims’ Rights Directive 2012/29, and share best practices on the implementation;
- To enhance the use of cross-border victims protection mechanisms within the EU, including the European protection order (Directive 2011/99);
- To ensure prompt identification of vulnerable persons and assess their vulnerability adequately in criminal proceedings (in line with the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities);
The Commission is invited to examine whether procedural safeguards for vulnerable adults need to be strengthened through EU law.