Annual General Meeting:
Victim Support Europe arranges an Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is often preceded by a two-day annual conference. The preparation of the conference and AGM is overseen by the Executive Board. At the AGM, Victim Support Europe’s members are informed about the activities undertaken during the past year. They are also consulted and able to influence future activities of the organisation.

The AGM is also responsible for electing Executive Board members.


  • João Lázaro

    President of the ‘Associação Portuguesa de Apoio à Vítima’ (APAV), Portugal

    João Lázaro is currently the President of Victim Support Europe (VSE). As President of the Executive Board João, among other things, represents the organisation to others, presides all meetings, ensures decisions are made in a timely manner and translated into meaningful actions and facilitates the accomplishment of VSE’s strategic goals.

    Holder of a Bachelor degree in Law and a post-graduate degree in Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice, João is also a practicing lawyer and the Executive President of the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV), a founding member of VSE.

    He has long experience in leading governance roles. Within VSE alone, João has been a member of the Board since 2008 and was elected President after four years serving as its Vice-President. He developed extensive work in the field of victimology and has dedicated his career to advocate for the rights of victims of crime.

Executive Board

  • Helgard van Hüllen

    Vice President

    Vice-President  of Weisser Ring Germany

    Helgard van Hüllen is Vice President of Victim Support Europe and Deputy National Chair of Weisser Ring Germany, where she is also a Member of the Advisory Board for Education and Training. Dr. van Hüllen is also head of Weisser Ring’s branch in Bad Tölz/Wolfratshausen in Bavaria and has over 20 years of experience in delivering support for victims and running victim support organisations.

    Dr. Helgard van Hüllen began working as a volunteer with Weisser Ring in 1993 and became a member of the board in 1998.

  • Brendan Loughran


    After 34 years working in Children’s Services in England Brendan Loughran retired from his position of Group Director for Children and Learning at the Greater London Authority in 2012. Since that time he has engaged with Voluntary Sector roles in Northern Ireland with the majority of his time spent, laterally as Vice-Chair of Victim Support Northern Ireland since 2011 and as Chair of The Board of Victim Support Northern Ireland from November 2015. Brendan’s interests lie in Good Governance of the Board and secure Financial Management and Accountability. He is passionate about ensuring that the Voice of the Victim is heard at all levels in Government and the Judiciary.

  • Leena-Kaisa Åberg

    Executive Board Member

    CEO of RIKU – Rikosuhripaivystys Suomessa, Finland

    Leena-Kaisa Åberg is the Executive Director of Victim Support Finland. VS Finland is a nation-wide NGO which provides support to victims of different crimes. Before starting her current work in March 2014, she worked for 12 years at the Finnish Red Cross. She has a Master in Political Science.

  • Livija Plančić

    Executive Board Member

    Livija Plančić worked at the Split- Dalmation county Police Department. Encouraged by her professional experiences in relation with the victims rights as well as her long-term engagement to marginalized groups in society she founded Bijeli Krug (the White Circle of Croatie Association) in 2011. Bijeli Krug is the only NGO in the Dalmatian area who’s primary mission is victim  help and support regardless of sex, age and regardless when the crime happened. Ever since, as the president of the White circle Croatia Livija Plancic developed the organisation in a recognizable and a quality member in the victim support system, not only locally but also nationally, warning the government institutions of their drawbacks and underdevelopment of the Croatian victim support and help system, suggesting ways to improve according to the European laws and European practice working with victims.

  • Mark Castle, CEO of Victim Support England and Wales, UK

    Executive Board Member

    Mark Castle is currently the Chief Executive of Victim Support which he joined in June 2014 on his departure from the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) where he was Chief Executive. He was appointed to the Sentencing Council on 17 July 2015 and sits on the Board of Victim Support Europe. Previously, Mark served in the Army retiring as a Brigadier. During his 31 year military career Mark served in Germany, Belize, Northern Ireland and Bosnia. In 2003, he commanded British forces in Maysan Province, Iraq, leading the stabilisation and reconstruction operations. He was awarded an OBE the following year. In his final military appointment Mark led the mentoring of Iraqi Interior Ministry forces by military, police and civilian experts advising on measures to improve public confidence and reduce corruption.  He is married with three children.

  • Gábor Veisz

    Executive Board Member

    Dr. Gábor Veisz has been working in the field of victim support since 2009. Between 2011 and 2017 he was head of the Victim Support Unit of the Hungarian Office of Justice (later Ministry of Justice), thus being responsible for the professional coordination of the Hungarian victim support system. The Hungarian state organisation for victim support became an associate member of VSE during his leadership. Also, Hungary was among the first to transpose the regulations of the 2012 Victim Support Directive in 2015. After leaving public service, he started his own legal practice in Győr in western Hungary and became a member of Fehér Gyűrű Közhasznú Egyesület/White Ring Association, the longest standing victim support organisation in the country. He has university degree in law from Budapest (MA) and from Dundee (BA).