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Crime victims in the European Union (EU) can obtain compensation for the injuries and/or damages they have suffered, regardless of where in the territory of the EU the crime was committed.

National situations

Each EU Member State has its own system for compensating victims for the damage they have sustained as a result of crime. There are basically two channels of compensation: victims can either pursue a claim against the offender (often a victim will have to launch civil proceedings before a civil court) or they can ask for compensation by the state.

However, it may also be possible for a victim to pursue a compensation claim against the offender during the course of criminal proceedings. More information about this route for compensation can be found here (select the relevant country flag listed on the right hand side of the page and then click on "My rights during the trial").

Cross-border situations

EU law ensures that each Member State has a national scheme in place which guarantees fair and appropriate compensation to victims of crime, and that compensation is easily accessible regardless of where in the EU a person becomes the victim of a crime. The relevant instrument of EU law is the Link opens in new windowDirective relating to compensation to crime victims. It facilitates Link opens in new windowaccess to compensation for victims of crime in cross-border situations (for instance, where the crime took place in a Member State other than where the victim lives) and sets up a system for cooperation between national authorities.

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Last update: 15/06/2016