For the third consecutive year, Victim Support Europe has organised a round table meeting. Several NGOs attended the meeting as well as various administrators from DG Justice of the European Commission.
The scope of this meeting was to enhance relationships among the NGOs that work for victims’ rights and their services. Ms Janicka-Pawlowska, Team Leader at DG Justice and Dr. van Hullen, Vice President of VSE opened the discussion. All NGOs’ representatives had the opportunity to speak about their current work related to victims’ issues and their priorities and plans for the coming months in particular those related to the urgent needs of specific groups of victims.
Participants also learned about the Commission’s plans for next year in the field of victims’ rights and the close collaboration with several national experts in Member States in order to safeguard the implementation of the Victims’ Rights Directive and other EU strategies related to victims’ services.
Several issues were discussed including the aspects of funding for projects from the European Commission and the possibility of project partnering, the role of media and affiliations with the civil society, the national ombudsman and government bodies.
Throughout the meeting, the issue of cybercrime was adressed. Mr Altan, executive director of VSE highlighted that VSE is giving priority to this relatively new type of crime and the negative effects it brings to victims and therefore it intends to organize its next annual conference to be held next December on this subject.
The participants have acknowledged the benefits of working in close collaboration with each other for the future benefits of all victims. Dr. van Hullen and Ms Janicka-Pawlowska concluded that since no one other than the NGOs’ representatives who work directly with the victims know better about their needs, it is important that the Commission listens to the NGOs and take into consideration their concerns in order to be able to construct EU policy-making that responds to all victims’ needs.