The EU Victim Rights Directive is currently being evaluated and the first preliminary evaluation findings were shared last week at the EU Victim Rights Platform. In short, there remain gaps in its implementation, but the Directive has been of added value for the improvement of victim rights.
The Victims’ Rights Directive establishes minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime and ensures that persons who have fallen victim to crime are recognised and treated with respect. The Directive considerably strengthens the rights of victims and their family members to information, support and protection. It further strengthens the victims’ procedural rights in criminal proceedings. The Directive also requires that EU countries ensure appropriate training on victims’ needs for those officials who are likely to come into contact with victims.
For the evaluation of the Directive, several (targeted) consultations are still foreseen, including the launch of an impact assessment questionnaire, as well as a consultation for future scenario’s. Mid December, the EC launched a public call for evidence (deadline 10 January), setting out different legislative options which will be followed by a public consultation in early 2022. The evaluation process of the Victim Rights Directive should be finalized by the end of 2022.
The implementation of the EU Victim Rights Strategy is also ongoing. In 2022, the Commission aims to launch a campaign to raise awareness on victim rights, which should also highlight in particular also the needs of special vulnerable groups, including victims of domestic violence.