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European Protection Order: increased security for victims of crimes throughout the EU. Teresa Jiménez-Becerril MEP


14 Dec 2011


Justice & Home Affairs

The European Parliament today approved the European Protection Order (EPO), a new legal instrument that will provide continuous protection of victims of violence when they move from one Member State to another.

"If a person has been granted protection through a protection order in one Member State and wishes to move to another, they can request a European Protection Order so that they can move securely around the EU", explained Teresa Jiménez-Becerril, the EPP Group MEP who drafted the proposal.

The new legal instrument will significantly help those who suffer from violence and wish to lead a normal life. There are no official figures, but around 118,000 restraining orders were issued in the EU in 2008, mostly for cases of gender violence, and all of them will be potential EPO users if they decide to move from one Member State to another.

The EPO was first conceived to be a tool to protect victims of gender violence, but it will also cover victims of any crime, such as victims of human trafficking, genital mutilation, organised crime and terrorism, as long as they have an identified perpetrator. An EPO may also be requested to safeguard relatives of a beneficiary of a protection order.

The differences in Member States' legal systems was the main obstacle to save during the negotiations with the EU Council of Ministers, as protection orders are issued following criminal, administrative or civil procedures. The final solution states that an EPO would only apply to protection measures taken on criminal matters, but it will be complemented by separate legislation on the mutual recognition of protection afforded by civil law.

"This is not a perfect instrument and it has taken two years to be approved but it is a very important first step to show that the EU has always taken a stand against gender violence or any other type of violence, and will continue to do so in the future", said Mrs Jiménez-Becerril.

In Focus - The European Protection Order: providing protection for victims across the EU

For further information:

Teresa JIMÉNEZ-BECERRIL BARRIO MEP, Tel: +33-3-88-175198

Pedro López de Pablo, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-475-493352

Notes to Editors:

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 272 Members.



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