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.
Each EU country has its own system for compensating victims for the damage they have suffered because of being a victim of a crime.
As a victim of crime, you have two channels of compensation: you can claim compensation from the offender during the criminal proceedings or you can claim compensation from the state (from the compensation authority or any other relevant body in the country).
Claiming compensation from the offender
Click on the link for more information on how to claim compensation from the offender during a trial (criminal proceedings).
As a victim of a crime, you also have other rights during the trial (select the relevant country flag listed elsewhere on the resulting page and then click on "My rights during the trial").
Claiming compensation from the state (Compensation authority or any other body)
The relevant instrument of EU law is the Council Directive 2004/80/EC of 29 April 2004 relating to compensation to crime victims.
The Directive on compensation requires that each EU country set up a national scheme of compensation to all victims of violent intentional crime. According to this law, all victims of violent intentional crime have access to the national compensation scheme in the country on whose territory the crime was committed.
You can find more information about the compensation schemes available in each EU country. Click on the flag of the country in which the crime was committed. You can claim state compensation from this country if you are a resident of it (national case) or if you live in another EU country (cross border case).
Cross border cases
To help victims of violent intentional crime to access compensation in cross border cases, the EU law set up a system of cooperation between national authorities:
- If you fell victim to crime while you were abroad (in an EU country in which you do not live) you can submit the application to the assisting authority of the EU country in which you live (The Judicial Atlas in civil matters has a search tool at the bottom of the page for finding the relevant authority in each EU country. Choose “Assisting authority” for the competence type).
For more information on the steps to take in cross border cases please click here.
- The assisting authority translates and transmits the application to the deciding authority in the EU country where the crime was committed (In the Judicial Atlas choose “Deciding authority” for the competence type). The deciding authority is responsible for assessing the application and the payment of the compensation.
- Click on the link for more information about how your application will be assessed by the deciding authority in the EU country where the crime was committed.
- The assisting and deciding authorities communicate among each other in the languages they have accepted (In the page that opens, click on the flag of the relevant country for information on languages accepted by the country)
The assisting and deciding authorities are helped by the national Central Contact Points (In the Judicial Atlas choose “Central contact point” for the competence type) whose role is to promote cooperation between the authorities, give assistance and seek solutions in cross border situations.
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Last update: 08/10/2020