VICTIMS IN GENERAL – EUROPEAN UNION

European Union, Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union

For this project’s purposes refer especially to:

  • Article 1, Human dignity (Protection and respect);
  • Article 2, Right to life;
  • Article 3, Right to the integrity of the person;
  • Article 6, Right to liberty and security;
  • Article 7, Respect for private and family life;
  • Article 8, Protection of personal data;
  • Article 11, Freedom of expression and information (Right to receive information);
  • Article 16, Freedom to conduct a business;
  • Article 17, Right to property;
  • Article 21, Non-discrimination (Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of nationality);
  • Article 24, Rights of the child
  • Article 25, Rights of the elderly
  • Article 26, Integration of persons with disabilities;
  • Article 27, Workers’ right to information and consultation;
  • Article 31, Fair and just working conditions (Respect for health, safety and dignity);
  • Article 34, Social security and social assistance (Entitlement to social security benefits and social services providing protection in cases such as, among others, illness or industrial accidents);
  • Article 35, Health care (High level of human health protection);
  • Article 37, Environmental protection (High level of environment protection; sustainable development);
  • Article 38, Consumer protection (High level of consumer protection);
  • Chapter VI – Justice: Articles 47-50 (Right to an effective remedy; fair trial; presumption of innocence; right of defence; principle of legality; principle of proportionality; double jeopardy)

See also the recital n. 66 of the Directive 2012/29/UE establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA


European Union,
Treaty on the European Union (TEU)

For this project’s purposes refer in particular to:

  • Article 3 (Promotion of peace and well being of EU peoples; area of freedom, security and justice; prevention of crime; sustainable development; balanced economic growth; social progress; improvement of the quality of the environment; promotion of scientific and technological advance; social justice and protection; equality; solidarity; protection of EU citizens; protection of human rights and child’s rights).


European Union, Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)

Victims rights

For this project’s purposes refer in particular to:

  • PART THREE – UNION POLICIES AND INTERNAL ACTIONS

Title V – Area of freedom, security and justice

  • Chapter 4 – Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters.
  • Article 82, according to which ‘the European Parliament and the Council may, by means of directives adopted in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, establish minimum rules’, concerning among others: ‘the rights of individuals in criminal procedure; the rights of victims of crime’.

See also

  • Article 83, according to which ‘ The European Parliament and the Council may, by means of directives adopted in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, establish minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions in the areas of particularly serious crime with a cross-border dimension resulting from the nature or impact of such offences or from a special need to combat them on a common basis. These areas of crime are the following: terrorism, trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation of women and children, illicit drug trafficking, illicit arms trafficking, money laundering, corruption, counterfeiting of means of payment, computer crime and organised crime. On the basis of developments in crime, the Council may adopt a decision identifying other areas of crime that meet the criteria specified in this paragraph. It shall act unanimously after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament. 2. If the approximation of criminal laws and regulations of the Member States proves essential to ensure the effective implementation of a Union policy in an area which has been subject to harmonisation measures, directives may establish minimum rules with regard to the definition of criminal offences and sanctions in the area concerned. Such directives shall be adopted by the same ordinary or special legislative procedure as was followed for the adoption of the harmonisation measures in question, without prejudice to Article 76’ [emphasis added].

Environment protection, product safety, public health, workers’ health and safety, consumer protection

For this project’s purposes, also refer, among others, to the followings:

  • Article 4 (Principal areas of EU competence: environment, consumer protection; freedom, security and justice; common safety in public health);
  • Article 6(a) (Actions in the field of protection and improvement of human health);
  • Article 9 (Adequate social protection; high level of protection of human health);
  • Article 10 (Fight against discrimination);
  • Article 11 (Environment protection);
  • Article 12 (Consumer protection);
  • Article 114(3), Approximation of laws (High level of protection as a base for health, safety, environment and consumer protection, taking account of development based on scientific facts);
  • Articles 153(1, a) (EU support in improvement of the working environment to protect workers’ health and safety);
  • PART THREE – UNION POLICIES AND INTERNAL ACTIONS

Title XIV – Public health

  • Article 168(4) (High standards of quality and safety of medical products and devices for medical use)
  • Article 169(1) (Promotion of a high level of consumer protection; promotion of health, safety and economic interests of consumers; consumers’ right to information; consumers’ organisations).
  • PART THREE – UNION POLICIES AND INTERNAL ACTIONS
    TITLE XV – Consumer protection
  • PART THREE – UNION POLICIES AND INTERNAL ACTIONS
    Title XX – Environment
    Article 191 (Environment protection; protection of human health; precautionary principle)

Humanitarian aid, victims of man-made disasters

  • PART FIVE – THE UNION’S EXTERNAL ACTION

TITLE III – Cooperation with third countries and humanitarian aid

  • Chapter 3, Humanitarian aid
  • Article 214(1) (Ad hoc assistance and relief and protection for people in third countries who are victims of natural or man-made disasters)
  • TITLE VII – Solidarity clause
  • Article 222 (Solidarity towards Member States object of a terrorist attack or victim of natural or man- made disaster).

‘The Directive 2012/29/UE Directive establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime ensures that persons who have fallen victim of crime are recognised, treated with respect and receive proper protection, support and access to justice. The Directive replaces the 2001 Framework Decision on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings and considerably strengthens the rights of victims and their family members to information, support and protection and victims’ procedural rights in criminal proceedings. The Directive also requires that the Member States ensure appropriate training on victims’ needs for officials who are likely to come into contact with victims and encourage cooperation between Member States and coordination of national services of their actions on victims’ rights’ [Source: http://ec.europa.eu/justice].

– European Commission, DG Justice, Guidance Document related to the transposition and implementation of Directive 2012/29/UE, December 2013

The Guidance Document was issued by the DG Justice to assist Member Stated in the process of transposition and implementation of the Directive 2012/29/UE. It clarifies the provisions of the Directive, iN order to help national authorities, practitioners and relevant service providers understanding what is required to make the victims’ rights set out in the Directive a reality everywhere in the EU’ [Source: http://ec.europa.eu/justice].

The Budapest Roadmap outlined a package of legislative proposals, including a directive (now Directive 2012/29/UE). The Budapest Roadmap ‘put victims at the heart of the EU criminal justice agenda’.

‘In order to provide a secure Europe where the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens are respected (…) [t]he Stockholm Programme sets out the European Union’s (EU) priorities for the area of justice, freedom and security for the period 2010-14. Building on the achievements of its predecessors the Tampere and Hague programmes, it aims to meet future challenges and further strengthen the area of justice, freedom and security with actions focusing on the interests and needs of citizens’. [Source: eur-lex.europa.eu].

The Action Plan ‘provides a roadmap for the implementation of political priorities set out in the Stockholm Programme for the area of justice, freedom and security between 2010-14’ [Source: eur-lex.europa.eu].

‘The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (in particular Article  72), which entered into force in late 2009, along with the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights, laid the foundations for the development of an EU security policy based on the rule of law, respect for fundamental rights and solidarity. Following the adoption of the Stockholm programme (the EU’s programme for justice and home affairs for the period 2010-14), the EU adopted, in 2010, its internal security strategy (ISS). Given that many security challenges (cybercrime, terrorism, illegal immigration and organised crime) are cross-border and cross-sectoral in nature, no single EU country is able to respond effectively to these threats on its own. In addition, the EU needs to improve its resilience to crises and disasters. The EU’s ISS is thus its joint agenda to use all the resources and expertise available to jointly tackle these challenges (…)’. [Source: eur-lex.europa.eu]

Among the values and principles that inspired the ISS is the ‘protection of all citizens, especially the most vulnerable, with the focus on victims of crimes such as trafficking in human beings or gender violence, including victims of terrorism who also need special attention, support and social recognition’.

‘The Directive sets up a mechanism allowing persons who benefit from a protection order in criminal matters issued in one Member State to request a European Protection Order. Such an order allows for protection also in other Member States where the protected person travels or moves. Protection orders covered by the Directive concern situations where victims, or potential victims, of crime benefit from a prohibition or regulation of entering certain places, being contacted or approached by a person causing risk. Deadline for domestic implementation was January 11, 2015. [Source: http://ec.europa.eu/justice].

 

‘The Directive 2004/80/EC provides that persons can apply for state compensation when they have fallen victims to crime abroad, and receive assistance to do so. The Directive requires that all Member States have a state compensation scheme which provides fair and appropriate compensation to victims of intentional violent crime. The Directive also creates a system of cooperation between national authorities for the transmission of applications for compensation in cross-border situations, notably victims of a crime committed outside their Member State of habitual residence can turn to an authority in their own Member State to submit the application and get help with practical and administrative formalities’ [Source: http://ec.europa.eu/justice].

– Commission of the European Communities, Green Paper – Compensation to Crime Victims, COM(2001) 536, Brussels, 28 September 2001 The Green Paper ‘launches a consultation with all interested parties on possible measures to be taken at Community level to improve state compensation to crime victims in the EU’ [Source: eur-lex.europa.eu].

‘The regulation sets up a mechanism allowing for a direct recognition of protection orders issued as a civil law measure between Member States. Thus, persons who benefit from a civil law protection order issued in the Member State of its residence may invoke it directly in other Member States by presenting a certificate  to competent authorities certifying their rights. The Regulation applies as of 11 January 2015’ [Source: http://ec.europa.eu/justice].

‘A single legal instrument to help international couples resolve disputes, involving more than one country, over their divorce and the custody of their children. (…) It sets out: – rules determining which court is responsible for dealing with matrimonial matters and parental responsibility in disputes involving more than one country;  – rules making it easier to recognise and enforce judgments issued in one EU country in another; –  a procedure to settle cases in which a parent abducts a child from one EU country and takes them to another. (…) Child abduction: The Regulation also lays down rules to settle cases in which children are unlawfully removed or kept.The courts of the EU country where the child normally lived immediately before abduction continue to have jurisdiction until the child lives mainly in another EU country. Recognition: Under the Regulation, any EU country must automatically recognise judgments given in another EU country on matrimonial and parental responsibility matters. (…) Enforcement: A judgment on the exercise of parental responsibility enforceable in the EU country where it was issued can be enforced in another EU country when it has been declared enforceable there at the request of any interested party. However, no declaration is required for judgments granting rights of access or concerning the return of a child that have been certified by the original judge in accordance with the Regulation’. [Source: http://eur-lex.europa.eu]

The Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA has been replaced by the Directive 2012/29/UE.