Mutual recognition of protection measures

Protection orders issued in one EU country can continue to be enforced in another

Right to continue to benefit from protection measures when moving to another Member State

To effectively protect you as a victim (in particular a victim of different forms of domestic violence and stalking) from violence and harassment, national authorities can often grant you specific measures (restraining, barring or a similar protection order) which help preventing further aggression or further assault by the offender. If you have been granted a protection order in a Member State you may wish to continue to benefit from this protection when moving or travelling to another Member State To this end, the EU put in place a mechanism for the mutual recognition of protection measures.

National protection measures can be of civil, criminal or administrative law in nature and their duration, scope and procedures of adoption vary among the Member States. Due to separate legal bases in EU law for mutual recognition of civil law measures and criminal law measures, two separate instruments were required to ensure the circulation of the three most common types of protection measures within the EU. Protection orders covered by the Directive and the Regulation concern situations where you as a victim, or potential victim, of crime benefit from a prohibition or regulation of entering certain places, being contacted by or approached by a person causing risk.

  • The Directive 2011/99/EU on the European Protection Order (EPO) sets up a mechanism between Member States allowing for the recognition of protection orders issued as a criminal law measure.
    If you benefit from a protection order in criminal matters issued in one Member State you may request a European Protection Order.
    Following a simplified and accelerated procedure protection should be awarded through the new protection measure adopted by the Member State to which you will travel or move.
    The Member States shall implement the provisions of the Directive into their national laws by 11 January 2015.
  • The Regulation (EU) No. 606/2013 on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters sets up a mechanism allowing for a direct recognition of protection orders issued as a civil law measure between Member States.
    Thus if you benefit from a civil law protection order issued in the Member State of your residence you may invoke it directly in other Member States by obtaining a certificate and presenting it to the relevant authorities certifying your rights.
    The Regulation applies as of 11 January 2015.

Two projects co-funded by the Daphne Programme of the European Union linked to the European Protection Order have recently published their results:

  1. The project "POEMS" and its Final report and Recommendations are available together with Country fiches. The project focused on mapping protection order legislation in 27 EU Member States, assessing the level and practical impact of legislation in this area and on the functioning of the Directive 2011/99/EU on European Protection Order and the Regulation 606/2013 on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters.
  2. The project "Epogender" and its Handbooks, are available including a comparative analysis of the legislation and practice of the Member States affected by the Directive 2011/99/EU on European Protection Order regarding the protection measures for victims of gender violence.

These publications have been produced with the financial support of the Daphne Programme of the European Union. The contents of these publications are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.

The publications present useful indicators to assist in the effective transposition of the Directive and contain information about national legislation that may help practitioners.

Last update: 08/10/2020

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