Access to victims’ rights is a high priority for the European Union and its Member States.
Article 26 of the Directive 2012/29/EU on establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime calls Member States to “take appropriate action to facilitate cooperation between Member States to improve the access of victims to the rights set out in this Directive and under national law.” The working programme 2021 of ENVR contributes directly and in a sustainable manner to conformity with the Directive.
ENVR organizes Expert Meetings semi-annually and Seminar annually for professionals of Member States. Based on the Council Conclusions on victims’ rights and the EU COM Strategy on victims’ rights ENVR hosts the annual meeting of the EU Network of national contact points for compensation.
The events provide forum to explore challenges in the implementation and the effective application of relevant EU legislation and to find solutions by developing a common knowledge base with the aim of better access to justice by victims EU-wide.
Expert Meetings primarily focus
I/ on effective communication on victims’ rights and safe environment: 1.) awareness raising campaigns at national level with a special focus on support for victims with special needs, 2.) good practices on creating safe environment for victims to report crime; 3.) on improving support and protection of the most vulnerable victims – e.g. strengthening physical protection;
II/ on support to vulnerable groups of victims. In the context of supporting vulnerable victims, the Expert Meeting will deal with 1.) victims of terrorism – by sharing the results and experiences of the EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism; 2.) elderly victims by introducing good practices on prevention and support; and with 3.) victims of gender-based violence by introducing the victim support aspects of the EU Gender Equality Strategy (2020-2025).
The Seminar is organized around a specific topic with input from relevant experts with the aim of a deeper discussion.
In 2021, the Seminar will focus on the forms and methods of cooperation and coordination at national and international levels. In particular, introducing the approach of the EU COM Strategy on victims’ rights to cooperation and coordination and the role of the Victims’ Rights Platform, mapping the existing areas and forms of EU-level cooperation and coordination – e.g. the EU Network of national contact points for compensation –, find the connection points between existing cooperation forms and the activity of ENVR and, reveal possibilities to assure better cooperation and coordination in further areas e.g. for victims of terrorism, particularly in cross-border situations. Moreover, reveal good practices on national victims’ rights strategies and on the holistic approach to victim support and exchange ideas on cooperation and coordination at national level.
The meeting for the EU Network of contact points for compensation aims to discuss current issues of cross-border cases, to find answers how to improve the effectiveness of the Network, and to connect the EU Network with ENVR.
It is essential for ENVR to learn the perspective of victims. ENVR is planning to involve the representatives of victims’ organisations in its methodological researches.
The website creates possibility of awareness raising for the public while the secure interface functions as a virtual conference space for experts and serves as a publishing tool for methodological documents.
The online tool “Find my victim support service” developed in 2020 can achieve its goal if it is regularly updated, therefore keeping the data included up-to-date imposes permanent task for the Network.
The proposed topics for research and analysis are the forms of cooperation and coordination at national and international levels; the strategy and awareness raisings at national level.
Activities may address further issues that are of interest to professionals.