Friday

23rd Aug 2019

EU ministers back new bill to help victims of crime

  • Parvanova: 'Women are particularly exposed to hidden and unreported forms of violence' (Photo: West Midlands Police)

Justice ministers meeting in Luxemburg on Friday (April 27) have backed a new EU law to strengthen legal and police protection for victims of crime.

The measures would help streamline judicial and legislative procedures for EU nationals in civil law cases who currently risk struggling with different languages, cultures and legal systems when moving to another member state.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"The council agreed to have a greater defence of the victims of crime, there is an agreement on the framework for the set-up of victim's protection. The important thing is to ensure that victims don't drown in cumbersome procedures," said Morten Bodskov, the Danish minister for justice, who chaired the talks.

Under the proposal, victims would be issued an EU-wide standard certificate containing all the relevant information on their case. They could then present the certificate to police in any other member state.

For instance, if a court in one EU country ordered an estranged spouse to stay at least 500 metres away from his or her partner, the same would apply in any another member state. The police would have to contact the 'stalker' and notify them of the consequences if he violates the injunction, while the victim, would - in theory - receive the same level of protection.

Authorities would first have to verify that the accused stalker has received a fair trial, before issuing the certificate.

The regulation is part of a larger 2009 commission draft European Protection Order (EPO) directive designed to ensure victims of violence and crime are afforded the same protection no matter where they live or reside in the EU.

The EPO as a whole has received wide support from the both the European Parliament and member states. Under the EPO, victims of rape, children, persons with disabilities and victims of human trafficking are designated by the commission as "vulnerable" and would benefit from special treatment.

The European Parliament's civil liberties, justice and home affairs and women's rights committees want to expand the commission's list of designated vulnerable.

Asylum seekers and refugees, elderly and victims of gender-based violence, terrorism, organised crime, violence in close relationships, torture, hate crime, organ trafficking and attempted homicide should also be considered vulnerable, say the committees.

"Women are particularly exposed to hidden and unreported forms of violence, and while establishing minimum standards for the protection of all victims, it is essential that issues such as gender-based violence are recognised and properly addressed," Bulgarian liberal MEP Antonyia Parvanova, the rapporteur for the women's rights committee, said.

The two committees will meet in late May to vote on the regulation.

Investigation

EU may extend 'passenger name records' to rail and sea

Documents reveal that EU states are considering broadening requirements on keeping passenger records, currently only applicable to air carriers, to providers of other modes of transport.

News in Brief

  1. Ocean Viking to disembark in Malta after ordeal
  2. Germany joins France in world outcry on Brazil fires
  3. British people lose faith in Brexit deal
  4. Brexit hardliners want further changes to EU deal
  5. German manufacturers confirm fear of recession
  6. Belgian socialists and liberals scrap over EU post
  7. Fall in EU migration leading to UK skills shortages
  8. Switzerland makes post-Brexit flight preparations

Stalling on VAT reform costing billions, says Commission

German media outlet Correctiv, along with other newsrooms, have revealed how criminals annually cheat EU states out of billions in VAT fraud. The EU Commission says solutions exist - but member states refuse to budge on tax unanimity.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Spain heading for yet another general election
  2. EU to discuss Brazil beef ban over Amazon fires
  3. 'Our house is burning,' Macron says on Amazon fires
  4. What happens when trafficking survivors get home
  5. EU states and Russia clash on truth of WW2 pact
  6. EU considers new rules on facial recognition
  7. EU to pledge Africa security funds at G7 summit
  8. Letter from the EESC on per diem article

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us