More work is necessary to fully transpose EU rules on victims’ rights and European Protection Order

The Commission has recently published the reports on implementation of the Victims’ Rights Directive and the Directive on European Protection Order. These two reports assess and analyse the national measures implementing the Directives. Under the Victims’ Rights Directive, victims of crime have rights to protection, support and access to justice. The Directive on the European Protection Order (EPO) allows for an extended protection to persons in danger who are travelling or moving to another EU country. The reports show that EU Member States still need to do a lot to tap into the full potential of these instruments. Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, said: “We are in the midst of a public health crisis, but of course, people still fall victims of crime. In fact, sadly, during the pandemic we have seen significant increases in some forms of crime such as domestic violence, cybercrime or hate crime. This is a stark reminder why ensuring solid victims’ rights is always crucial. Even in times of crisis, we must not forget peoples’ fundamental rights. I call on Member States to do more to ensure victims’ rights are correctly upheld across the EU.” Shortcomings in implementation of some key rights, such as access to information, support services and protection in accordance with victims’ individual needs, were found in most Member States. The European protection orders are still rarely used, mostly because of a lack of awareness about the instrument and because of the insufficient national protection schemes.  The Commission will soon adopt an EU Victims’ Rights Strategy (2020-2025). The implementation reports can be found online on the page about victims’ rights.