Spain will promote measures in the European Union to improve care for foreign victims of terrorism

News - 2023.3.10

The Minister emphasised this objective during his speech at the commemorative event organised by the European Commission on the occasion of the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism, which has been brought forward one day this year, as it was set for 11 March on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks perpetrated in Madrid in 2004.

In his speech, Grande-Marlaska stated the need to establish a protocol for action in terrorist attacks involving victims who are residents or nationals of different Member States of the European Union. "We must develop a mechanism to ensure assistance, support, protection and financial compensation for cross-border victims and their families," he asserted.

Grande-Marlaska said that protecting cross-border victims of terrorism will be one of the issues to be addressed on 25 September at a seminar organised by Spain, "during which concrete, specific proposals will be developed that will then be submitted to the Council of the European Union".

The Minister also highlighted Spain's participation in the consortium that will tender for the future European Counselling Centre for Victims of Terrorism, as a sign of Spain's commitment to protecting victims. "We are the only Member State directly involved in this project," he stressed.

Grande-Marlaska described Spain as "a pioneering country" in recognising and protecting victims and praised the capacity of Spanish society "to transform rage into momentum and to work harder to help victims, to repair the damage caused as much as possible, while being aware that total reparation is impossible".

In the Minister's opinion, reparation for the victims of terrorism must involve recovering and preserving their memories, and he therefore urged states to safeguard the memories of the victims of terrorism" as an act of justice and, at the same time, an instrument for socially delegitimising violence".

In this sense, he presented as "paradigmatic examples" of how memories had been recovered the Victims of Terrorism Memorial Centre, opened in Vitoria in 2021, and the "Memory and Prevention of Terrorism" project, which brings terrorism studies as well as personal and direct testimonies from victims to educational centres.

European Remembrance Day for Victims of terrorism

The commemorative event on the occasion of the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism, organised by the European Commission, included testimonies from victims of the terrorist attacks in Madrid (2004), Oslo (2011), Strasbourg (2018) and Vienna (2020).

In addition to Grande-Marlaska, the ceremony was also attended by the Belgian Minister for Home Affairs, Annelies Verlinden; the Swedish State Secretary for Justice, Charlotte Kugelberg; the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Illka Salmi; and the European Coordinator for Victims' Rights, Katarzyna Janicka-Pawlowska.

Non official translation