European Commissioner Věra Jourová has released a statement in honour of European Day for Victims of Crime, which falls today.
The Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality published the statement yesterday in anticipation of the Day for Victims of Crime, aimed at raising awareness of the rights of citizens directly affected by crime in the EU.
Commissioner Jourová said: “Being a victim of crime is something that can happen to all of us. However, not all victims report that they have suffered from a crime: for 25 million criminal offences reported in the EU, we estimate that another 75 million go unreported. We have to put an end to this. Victims often do not go to the police, as they are afraid of the offender or from suffering the negative consequences of criminal proceedings. In the EU, all victims of crime benefit today from a set of clear rights, independently of where in the European Union the crime takes place. In particular, the Victims’ Rights Directive, which came into application in November 2015, provides the rights to be recognised and treated in a respectful, professional and non-discriminatory manner. The main objective of these high standards is to avoid that victims suffer additional harm during criminal proceedings.”
The European Commission is drawing attention to the action it has taken to shore up support for victims of crime, including:
- The Victims’ Rights Directive, established in 2015, which enshrines a comprehensive set of rights for crime victims and details the responsibilities of Member States in guaranteeing these rights;
- The Directive on Combating Terrorism, which was implemented in 2017 although nine Member States have yet to fully apply its rules; and
- The appointment in 2017 of Special Adviser Joëlle Milquet, who is due to present a report shortly on recommendations for crime victims’ compensation.
Commissioner Jourová added: “I will make sure that these EU rules are applied across the Union. I will take all necessary steps, including legal actions. No matter where you live or where you come from, if you fall victim to a crime in Europe you should always receive the help and support that meet your needs.”