The EU Centre for victims of terrorism organized a webinar for the Hub of Experts on 1 February 2023, on “Shaping the rights of terrorism victims at EU and national level.”

The meeting was structured to approach the subject topic from the aspect of panel speakers of different areas.

Marieta Tosheva on behalf of the European Commission spoke about the results of the EU CVT and mentioned that the selection process for the continuation of the EU CVT is ongoing. The Centre was beneficial not just for the victims of terrorism, but it played role in shaping the rights of all victims.

The revision of the Victims’ Rights Directive, based on a recent evaluation, is ongoing in order to strengthen the victims’ rights. Beside the legislative actions, the EU COM is active with non-legislative actions as well, such as the Victims’ Rights Platform or the recently launched EU level awareness raising campaign on which good reactions came already. Also, the EU COM organizes a Remembrance Day for victims of terrorism, on 10 March 2023.

Dorothea Faust AENVR manager for victims of terrorism summarized the actions of the German Presidency of the EU Council for victims and terrorism and government-to-government cooperation, and the process of setting up the Network of EU single contact points within ENVR. She introduced the results of the SCPOVT, the work on the Operational Protocol and the network’s efforts for cross-border coordination.

Levent Altan, Victim Support Europe executive manager, highlighted that in the past 20 years, significant progress has been made, in which the 2012 Directive was a milestone by setting up the legislative structure.

The main areas of improvement were the availability of general and specific services, the access to information, the needs assessment for all victims, and measures to avoid secondary victimization. VSE sees the main shortcomings regarding the implementation of the Directive on combating terrorism, that the legislation is localized and not strategical. Every country should have the infrastructure for support of terrorist attack and civil society should be involved in the development of national policies. As for the cooperation with countries with low risk for terrorism, the issue of support to victims of terrorism should be linked to other situations which come together with mass victimization. VSE launched a paper on the national Framework for comprehensive victims support :

Frida Wheldon, on behalf of Victim Support Sweden, introduced the case study made following the 2017 Stockholm truck attack. She spoke about the cooperation between civil and public actors in the immediate aftermath, as well as the organization of the criminal proceedings related to the attack, including the special support given for victims before and during the trial. She introduced the support provided for victims, witnesses and family members, furthermore the main lesson learnt: all sectors should be involved and focus on long-term needs of victims is essential.   Roundtable discussion focused on questions as the state of play of the full implementation of the CTD, the rapport between legislation and reality for victims, stronger collaboration of actors to better respond to victims’ needs.

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👏 AENVR strongly welcomes the European Commission‘s initiative to strengthen the rights of victims of all crime by updating the existing Victims’ Rights Directive.

We look forward to support Member states in the upcoming work to ensure that all victims in the EU can fully benefit from their rights.