EU Council Directive 2004/80/EC relating to compensation for crime victims in cross border cases was adopted in Brussels on 29 April 2004. Its objective is to protect those who have become victim of a violent crime in another EU Member State. It obliges all EU Member States to put in place fair and appropriate national schemes on compensation to victims of violent crimes committed in their respective territories.
The German assisting authority – the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs – assists those in asserting their applications for compensation in the EU Member State in which they suffered the damage.
Its tasks include
- providing victims with information about how to apply for compensation abroad, including about the procedure in the other country, time limits for filing the application, conditions of entitlement and any documentary evidence required,
- providing application forms issued by the Member State in which the damage occurred,
- finding out which authority will decide on the application for compensation in the other Member State,
- passing the application for compensation on to the deciding authority in the other Member State together with the documentary evidence submitted,
- having documents and correspondence translated into the relevant language free of charge,
- assisting applicants and keeping them up to date throughout all the stages of the compensation procedure.
EU Member States take their decisions on such applications on the basis of their own national legislation. The statutory regulations on compensation in most other Member States of the EU are not as wide-ranging as those in Germany.
The German assisting authority has neither influence on the proceedings in the other Member State nor on the decisions taken.
Victims who file an application under the German Crime Victims' Compensation Act in parallel should note the following:
If the foreign state pays compensation, this is credited against any compensation awarded under the Crime Victims' Compensation Act. That is why it is important for victims to cooperate with the German assisting authority.
If an application for compensation has already been submitted under the German Crime Victims' Compensation Act, the German assisting authority will be informed of that fact. It will then contact the applicant.
The German assisting authority can be contacted at the following address:
Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
Tel.: +49 228 99527 - 0
Fax: +49 228 99527 - 4134