Victims' rights in the EU

EESC opinion: Victims' rights in the EU

Two referrals: COM(2011) 274 final and COM(2011) 275 final


Key points

The EESC has concerns about the low level of confidence of victims in the criminal justice system, and recognises a need to empower victims, particularly repeat victims, and develop civil confidence to break the cycle of victimisation. It calls upon the Commission to consider accompanying measures and funding to support this.

The EESC calls for accompanying measures to strengthen and formalise the network of victim support services across the EU, and suggests it is funded on a consistent basis through the EU Budget. The EESC also recommends that the role of support services be extended to support victims of crime and their families on their return home in cases where the incident happened abroad. The EESC also believes that victim support services should be flexible and capable of channelling resources regionally to potential hot-spot areas.

The EESC recognises the wider role for civil society in developing practical measures to support victims of crime, and encourages the Commission to bring forward accompanying measures and funding to facilitate this.

The EESC urges the Commission to make wide-ranging and necessary improvements to provisions for compensation for victims in its forthcoming review, including consideration of an EU level criminal injuries compensation scheme. The EESC would like the Commission to emphasise to Member States that the directive provides the minimum standards and provides the floor of rights, which allows national implementing legislation to provide greater protection.