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Compensation possible for Victims of Crime abroad

Publication date: 18 August 2004

AIT & FIA welcome the forthcoming entry into force (26th August, 2004) of Council Directive 2004/80/EC relating to compensation to crime victims. It addresses many of the issues raised by AIT & FIA in the initial Green paper consultation.

2004_80_ec.pdf (88 KB)



With more than 40 million touring consumers as members, the European automobile and touring clubs have long been aware that with increased circulation in the European Union for purposes of tourism, work or study, so the numbers of potential victims of crimes committed in a country other than their own are also rising. Such crime victims will often not be able to obtain compensation from the offender, since the offender may lack the necessary means to satisfy a judgment on damages or because the offender cannot be identified or prosecuted. Moreover, it takes into account that foreign victims will face extra difficulties accessing compensation due to problems of language and ignorance of systems in place to help them.


With this Directive, the Council recognises that crime victims in the European Union should be entitled to fair and appropriate compensation for the injuries they have suffered, regardless of where in the European Community the crime was committed. It sets up a system of cooperation to facilitate access to compensation to victims of crimes in cross-border situations.


By 1st July 2005, Member States should have in place a compensation mechanism covering damages including legal costs, accessible to victims of violent international crimes committed in their respective territories irrespective of whether the victim is a resident or not.  Its effectiveness will be reviewed by 1st January 2009 at the latest.

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