It is inherent to the nature of terrorism the use of violence or threat of violence to influence a State, group of States or international organization. When terrorism strikes democratic societies, it causes victims to destroy the State and its institutions, affecting the coexistence in peace and freedom. There is always a link between the terrorist attack and a state policy on which to influence and in the context of democratic states, the action of the individual or terrorist group is always an attack on democracy and the rule of law.

In this context victims of terrorism are not mere victims of crime. The victims of terrorism are sacrificed on behalf of the State, the true target of the attack. We call for the acknowledgement of the political significance of victims of terrorism by expressly recognizing them as symbols of the defense of the democratic rule of law State vis-à-vis the terrorist threat.

The transnationality component of the terrorist threat - both due to the plurality of affected countries and the multinationality of its victims - requires a specific response from the European institutions and coordination among Member States. In this sense the recently approved DIRECTIVE (EU) 2017/541 of 15 March 2017 on combating terrorism lays down in its articles 24, 25 and 26 the minimum foundations regarding the protection, support, and rights of victims of terrorism./p>

The Associations of Victims of Terrorism in Europe collaborating under the umbrella of EPAVT will work together with competent bodies of the European Union and of EU Member States and of the European Union in order to:


Request from the EU member States the development of anti-terrorist and security policies focused on the protection and support of victims of terrorism.


Put in place procedures to enhance cooperation between all actors concerned, both from the public institutions and victim associations to guarantee a comprehensive, coordinated, specialized and specific protection.


Help set up coordinating principles among the different European associations of victims of terrorism in Europe for the protection and support of victims of terrorism regardless of their nationality and the place of commission of the terrorist attack.


Encourage the creation of a European Office for the assistance of victims of terrorism under the European Commission to coordinate the different offices and agencies working in the different Member States.


Ensure a simple and quick access to support and compensation for victims after the terrorist attack and consider the feasibility of establishing a Common Compensation Fund for damages resulting from terrorist attacks committed within the European Union.


Raise awareness of the need for specific legislation for victims of terrorism at European level and in each of the specific Member States.


Promote specific training for professionals in charge of assisting victims of terrorism in the psychological, legal and social fields to provide victims of terrorism with specific, professional and close assistance.


Promote the need to establish common protocols of action at European level after a terrorist attack.


Enhance the participation of the victim of terrorism in all phases of the judicial process, both civil and criminal. The participation of associations of victims of terrorism in the process should also be considered as a way to avoid further suffering for the victims of terrorism.


Encourage the organization of events to honor and preserve the memory of the victims for present and future generations linked to denouncing the extreme wrongfulness of the act of victimization and the dissemination of the democratic and ethical values.