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Strasbourg, 13 December 2011

Statement by Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner, on the European Protection Order

"Protecting victims, wherever they find themselves across the Union, is and must remain a crucial element of our action. Exercising one's freedom of movement and residence should not result in a loss of that protection.

If improving procedural rights is crucial to develop a fair justice system, it is equally important to improve the rights of victims. As we raise those standards we have therefore to embark on balancing the rights of the accused with the rights of the victim in the administration of justice.

This is why the Commission has always supported the objectives of this proposal. This is also why we have completed this Member States' initiative by a Regulation allowing victims to benefit from the speediest means available for civil law protection measures.

I wish to thank both Rapporteurs, Mrs Jimenez-Becerill and Mrs Romero-Lopez, for their determination, flexibility and for being so helpful to find a good solution in this dossier. I would like to stress that the contribution from the European Parliament was also very valuable to raise the general level of ambition of this proposal.

To ensure that no gaps remain in the protection of victims, it is equally important that the Regulation on a Civil European Protection Order is also discussed and negotiated as a priority. With this package – the criminal Protection Order and the Civil Protection Order – no woman will be left behind.

I know it is a top priority here in this House. I discussed it last week with the incoming Danish Presidency to ensure it will also be a priority for them.

You know well my broader ambition to strengthen victims' rights in the European Union. I am therefore very much looking forward to our fruitful cooperation on my proposal for a horizontal Directive on victims' rights."

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