EESC opinion: Green Paper on compensation to crime victims

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EESC opinion: Green Paper on compensation to crime victims

Key points:

Given that the main issue here is the best way to deal with the situation of cross-border victims, the Committee reiterates the view that in order to avoid the difficulties raised it is necessary to strive for the most stringent common standard possible, setting different starting levels and establishing subsequent steps to bring about a gradual alignment.

A strong emphasis must be placed on the principle of solidarity and equal treatment for people throughout the common area. The adoption of a maximum reference standard must mean that the Member States reach a minimum common denominator. To this end, the progressive development targets must be defined in terms of both content and timescale, and penalties must be devised for those who fail to meet them.

The proposal to apply a complementarity principle might prove difficult in practice, as most State compensation decisions are based not on objective legal criteria but on principles of fairness. This could lead to a dual assessment. It is just one point for discussion, as is the possibility of achieving complementarity by setting up a European fund in which the Member States would – via their respective contributions – converge towards the standard and to the agreed level of compensation.