The conference “Victims of Crime Beyond 2015” took place last Tuesday 18 November in the European Parliament in Brussels. Victim Support Europe (VSE) organized this conference with the purpose of raising awareness on the implementation of the EU Directive on victims of crime and to present VSE’s strategy 2014-19. Among other participants, two staff members of the EFRJ attended the event, Mirko Miceli and Emanuela Biffi.
Concerning the implementation of the EU Directive by November 2015, much attention has been given to the importance of raising awareness and increasing cooperation to strengthen victim’s rights, support and protection across all EU Member States. Special consideration has been given to the significance of training the criminal justice authorities and victim support officers and of properly informing victims of crimes about their rights and support services.
Among the other speakers, the Representative of the Italian EU Presidency emphasised the fact that a mayor distance still exist between victims and offenders and that often the criminal justice system responds in terms of what is needed within the criminal proceedings, instead of caring about the emotional dimension of the parties involved in the offense. It was suggested to overcome the limits of law, making sure that legal rights match the individual daily practices supporting victims of crime. Additionally, it was highlighted that the protective approach of the Directive should include also the empowerment of victims of crime: “A trial is not fair if the person does not play an active role and have the protection of victims’ needs”.