|In February 2013, the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD), in a consortium of universities and organizations from 4 EU Member States, led by Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, started an initiative, entitled Improving Protection of Victim’s Rights: Access to Legal Aid, supported by the European Commission. During its 18 months it will explore this developing issue in three newer (Bulgaria, Poland, Latvia) and three older (Italy, Spain and UK) EU Member States from a legal and practical point of view by analyzing legislation, seeking common points for harmonization at EU level, raising the awareness of the general public and training practitioners on treating victims lawfully and respectfully. It will also help the successful transposition of the new EU Directive establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime into partner countries’ legislation and its implementation in judicial and administrative procedure.|
‘The mechanisms for protecting the rights of victims of crime are among CSD’s foremost research priorities in the legal area’, noted Dr. Maria Yordanova, CSD Law Program Director and Project Manager for Bulgaria. ‘This initiative will very much rely on stakeholders’ active involvement by consulting them from the project’s outset and organizing a number of events for practitioners, as well as for the general public’.