Written Question: Application in the Italian legal system of Directive 2012/29/EU with regard to members of the families of ‘victims of crime’, owing to exposure to harmful metals

(Source: European Parliament)

Date submitted: 23 March 2021

Question for written answer E-001581/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Piernicola Pedicini (Verts/ALE)

Subject: Application in the Italian legal system of Directive 2012/29/EU with regard to members of the families of ‘victims of crime’, owing to exposure to harmful metals

Several Italian public officials have been recognised as ‘victims of duty’ owing to their exposure to harmful metals that have led to severe and widespread cases of cancer. Many family members too, due to their proximity, have absorbed a huge amount of harmful metals and have contracted various types of cancer and neoplasms. A group of family members have therefore requested that their condition be treated in the same way as that of a ‘victim of duty’. The Italian authorities have rejected their claims on the grounds that such status is only recognised for civil servants who, for reasons relating to their service, suffer permanent damage or lose their lives. In accordance with Directive 2012/29/EU(1), the harm suffered by family members is linked to a crime of which another family member has been victim, consisting of exposure – in breach of health protection rules – to harmful metals which have had serious consequences.

Given the lack of protection by the Italian Government, contrary to EU rules(2), and in view of the report adopted by the Commission on 11 May 2020 on the implementation of Directive 2012/29/EU, according to which Italy is the subject of infringement proceedings for incomplete transposition, what action does the Commission intend to take to enforce Directive 2012/29/EU in Italy, especially with regard to family members who are ‘victims of crime’?(3)


(1) Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime
(2) It appears that in Italy the victims of duty have been placed on an equal footing with those exposed to asbestos and/or depleted uranium, thus creating an even closer link with the EU rules laid down in Directive 2012/29/EU.
(3) Recital 19 of Directive 2012/29/EU: ‘A person should be considered to be a victim regardless of whether an offender is identified, apprehended, prosecuted or convicted and regardless of the familial relationship between them. It is possible that family members of victims are also harmed as a result of the crime. In particular, family members of a person whose death has been directly caused by a criminal offence could be harmed as a result of the crime. Such family members, who are indirect victims of the crime, should therefore also benefit from protection under this Directive […]’.

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