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What is the aim of the directive?
All Member States shall ensure that their national rules provide for the existence of a scheme on compensation to victims of violent intentional crimes committed in their respective territories, which guarantees fair and appropriate compensation to victims.
Compensation is to be available in national as well as in cross-border situations, ie regardless of the country of residence of the victim and regardless of in which Member State the crime was committed.
The definitions of what compensation should be paid out to each victim are left to Member States' discretion, provided that it is fair and appropriate.
The directive creates a system of cooperation between national authorities for the transmission of applications for compensation in cross-border situations. Victims of a crime committed outside their Member State of habitual residence can turn to an authority in their own Member State (assisting authority) to submit the application and get help with practical and administrative formalities. The authority in the Member State of habitual residence transmits the application directly to the authority in the Member State where the crime was committed (deciding authority), which is responsible for assessing the application and paying out the compensation. The directive provides for two standard forms.
The Commission makes available on the internet lists of the assisting and deciding authorities designated by the Member States and basic information on the compensation schemes in each Member State. For more information, you can consult the “Compensation on crime victims" section of the European Judicial Atlas in civil matters.
The same Regulation also lays down how a crime victim can enforce a judgement on damages against the offender in another Member State.
The framework decision on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings provides that the victim shall have the right to seek damages from the offender in the criminal proceedings. This avoids the need for the victim to start separate civil proceedings to obtain such damages. The decision also states that Member States shall encourage the offender to provide adequate compensation to the victims, as well as to promote mediation in criminal cases.
Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Brussels I)
Corrected by Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001 R(01)
Corrected by Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001 R(02)
Corrected by Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001 R(03)
Corrected by Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001 R(04)
Amended by Commission Regulation (EC) 1496/2002
Amended by the Act 2003TN02/18A
Amended by Commission Regulation (EC) 1937/2004
Amended by Commission Regulation (EC) 2245/2004
Amended by Agreement 2005A1116(01)
Amended by the Council Regulation (EC) 1791/2006
Last update: 04-11-2009