22 February 2016 – On European Day for Victims of Crime we are looking at the state of Victims’ Rights in the EU.
In 2011, the European Council and European Parliament adopted an historic piece of EU legislation greatly strengthening the rights of victims of crime. In this way all European countries (except Denmark) committed themselves to improve the rights and support for all victims of crime by the 16th of November of 2015. This Directive, 2012/29/EU, ensures that all victims of crime have better rights, support and protection.
On 16 November 2015, Member States were required under the Victims’ Directive to communicate to the Commission the legislative texts which transpose (purport to) the Directive.
However, many EU member states did not send a communication or only sent a partial communication. At the end of January 2016 the European Commission had to open infringement cases for non-communication against 16 Member States for non-communication of the VICTIMS Directive.
Since then 1 Member State has notified and at the moment they still miss 15 notifications. This does not mean that a Member State hasn’t transposed the Directive it only means that they’ve not communicated what they have done. That’s almost 60% of governments that are failing to honour their commitments to their citizens and to victims of crime. The 16 countries currently having infringement proceedings for non-communication of the victims’ directive are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia
Over the course of the next two years the Commission will assess in detail every Member States implementing laws (and to some extent the practice). The Commission will then publish an implementation report in November 2017, indicating the state of transposition in all participating states. This report can be used to commence or recommence infringement proceedings against non-compliant States.
More details on the proceedings can be found here
Today on 22 February 2016 – European Day for Victims of Crime – we count on National EU governments and European policy makers to ensure that rights become a reality for all victims of crime. We want to call on governments to show what they have done, and encourage Member States to step up.