Skip to main content

Right to compensation

The EU has put in place legislation that facilitates victims access to compensation.

The EU has put in place legislation that facilitates access to compensation in situations where the crime was committed in an EU country other than the victim's country of residence.

Directive 2004/80/ECon compensation to crime victims allows people who have fallen victim to crime abroad to apply for state compensation. The Directive requires that all EU countries have a state compensation scheme which provides fair and appropriate compensation to victims of intentional violent crime. In order to facilitate victims’ access to compensation in cross-border cases, the Commission has adopted Commission Decision 2006/337/EC that established standard forms for the transmission of applications and decisions on compensation. 

At the e-Justice Portal, the Commission, together with Member States, collects information about the available national compensation schemes.

Directive 2012/29/EUestablishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime provides the right to obtain a decision on compensation by the offender. It also encourages EU countries to set up mechanisms for recovering compensation payments from the offender.

On 4 October 2017, President Jean-Claude Juncker, appointed Joëlle Milquet as his Special Adviser for compensation to victims of crime. The Special Adviser’s mandate included the preparation of a report on how to improve access to compensation for victims of crime.

The report on “Strengthening victims’ rights: from compensation to reparation” written by Joëlle Milquet was published on 11 March 2019. This report is the result of numerous meetings that the Special Adviser had with victims, victims support associations, national authorities responsible for compensation and other persons involved in victims’ rights (who assisted the Special Adviser within the informal Steering Committee). The Special Adviser also has been assisted in her work by Commission staff responsible for victims’ rights.

The opinions expressed in this report are personal and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Commission or its President


11 MARCH 2019
Report on "Strengthening victims' rights: from compensation to reparation"
(523.45 KB - PDF)

11 MARCH 2019
Executive summary - Strengthening victims’ rights: from compensation to reparation
(364.04 KB - PDF)