The foundation for the rights and protection of victims of crime and their families has been laid down; what is more important is for the legislation in this regard to be applied in practice, stated Justice Minister Tsetska Tsacheva before the High-Level Group on the Rights of Victims in Brussels today.

The forum is organised by the Directorate General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission. It is also attended by the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová and the Commissioner for Security Union, Julian King.

“Crime usually impacts on more than one person and a victim’s relatives also affected, although indirectly. The number of victims of crime in Europe is high. At the same time, we need to note that the free movement people is a fundamental value of the European Union. Citizens travel all the time and the risk of their becoming victims of crime abroad is as high as in their own state”.Tsetska Tsacheva – Minister of Justice

She recalled that the Member States have already transposed in their national law the Directive relating to compensation to crime victims and the Directive establishing minimum standards about the rights, support and protection of victims of crime.

A focus of today’s meeting was the Directive relating to the rights of victims and the participants discussed three main topics: victims of terrorism, compensation for victims of crime and victims of gender-based violence.

According to Minister Tsacheva, the joint efforts needs to be targeted at improving the practical application of the law in the area of victim rights in each EU Member State and improving the cross-border cooperation.

“The process of the European Union’s accession to the Istanbul Convention needs to continue because this act will allow for a better coordination of the policies in this area between the various EU institutions and the good practices’ exchange. It will also encourage the cooperation among the Member States for the purposes of combating violence against women”.Tsetska Tsacheva – Minister of Justice

Minister Tsacheva went on and noted that there would be active efforts in this regard during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

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