MEPs demand arrest warrant vote to be postponed



A group of 32 MEPs on the initiative of Green MEP, Donald Neil MacCormick, handed in a demand to postpone today's vote in plenary of the European Parliament on the European Arrest Warrant.

"Because this is a vital matter to all Europeans we need to prepare the case properly in the committee and not just rush things through as happened last week in Strasbourg," Mr MacCormick told the EUobserver.com.

The European Arrest Warrant was put on today's agenda for vote without debate, but according to article 114 (2) in the rules of procedure in the European Parliament, 32 members can, by lodging a protest in advance, demand the report be placed on the draft agenda of "a subsequent part-session with debate."

Danish MEP, Professor LLD of the University of Copenhagen, Mr Ole Krarup also signed up for the protest saying the planned legislation touched on the very heart of justice and should be very well prepared as it interacts with a whole range of other legislation.

On 6-7 December 2001, the ministers responsible for justice and home affairs in the member states of the European Union studied a draft EU decision based on a European Commission proposal, at the initiative of Commissioner Antonio Vitorino (document reference COM(2001)522 final/2).

A political agreement was reached on 11 December 2001 at EU level on a European arrest warrant valid for the entire territory of the European Union, and on the surrender procedures between the member states. The European arrest warrant will come into force on 1 January 2004.

Written by Lisbeth Kirk
Edited by Blake Evans-Pritchard, Lisbeth Kirk
source: www.euobserver.com

Statewatch note: the European Parliament was "consulted" on the first draft, but there were substantial changes so the parliament has to be re-consulted. The final decision rests with the Council of the European Union (the 15 EU governments). The latest text of the proposal and anaylsis: Statewatch Observatory in defence of freedom and democracy



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