Ahead of the 14th European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism on 11 March 2018, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos, Vera Jourová and Julian King have issued the following statement:
“Ahead of European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism, we wish to commemorate and pay tribute to all the lives that have been taken from us so tragically. Lives that have been lost too early and lives that we will never forget. We stand together in solidarity with and in support of those who have lost loved ones, those who must live with the aftermath of cowardly terrorist acts.
There is no place for terrorism anywhere in the world. It is a heinous and despicable atrocity against humanity. It spreads destruction and scars those who live for the rest of their lives.
But let our commemoration not only be a reminder of the past but a compass for the future. We, as the European Union, are determined to bolster our resilience and better prepare ourselves in order to protect European citizens. The law on combatting terrorism approved last year ensures that victims of terrorism get the care they need for as long as they need it. It is now our collective responsibility to make sure that the provisions of this law are implemented by September 2018. We urge all Member States to do their utmost to provide the victims with the rights they deserve.
We have supported victims across Europe, including victims of terrorist attacks, by financing projects aimed at defending victims' rights and we will continue to provide financial assistance when and where needed. For instance, the Commission will support the setting up of a new Coordination Centre for Victims of Terrorism – a hub of expertise, guidance and support – which will be up and running in 2019. The security of Europe is inextricably linked to the security of our partners in our neighbourhood and beyond. This is why we have been supporting them in building resilient societies, in improving education, supporting economic growth, and in fighting violent extremism and countering radicalisation through dedicated projects.
Each act of terrorism is an assault on innocent people and our democracies. Nothing can bring back those we have lost or undo the damage done. The European Union is a project of peace, and thus we stand strong and united to pass this powerful message in Europe and beyond that no one, no victim will be left behind in a Europe that protects.”
Security has been a political priority since the beginning of the Juncker Commission'smandate – from President Juncker's Political Guidelines of July 2014 to the latest State of the Union address on 13 September 2017. Providing support to victims of crime, including victims of terrorist attacks, is an important part of the Commission's work to address all dimensions of terrorist threats. The EU has put in place a strong legal framework to support and protect victims across Europe through the EU-wide access to compensation schemes, the Victims Rights' Directive and the Directive on Combatting Terrorism. The Commission also finances projects aimed at defending victims' rights, including victims of terrorism under the Justice programme (with a budget of approximately € 2,5 million for 2018). In October 2017, Joëlle Milquet was appointed Special Adviser to President Jean-Claude Juncker for the compensation of victims of crime. Her role is to advise the President on how the Commission can foster a better implementation of the existing rules on the compensation of victims of crime, including victims of terrorism. Victims' support and rights are also at the heart of work carried out by Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN).
The European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism was established after the Madrid Bombings of 11 March 2004. Each year since 2005, the European Union remembers on this date the victims of terrorist atrocities.
For More Information
Upcoming event: 14th European Day of Remembrance of Victims of terrorism
Factsheet: Victims Rights' Directive
Twitter: #11M #SecurityUnion