Legal aid in European Arrest Warrant proceedings: Council report on latest "trilogue" with Parliament

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The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union are coming closer to an agreement on the text of a Directive that sets out provisions on access to legal aid for persons subject to a European Arrest Warrant.


A document produced by the Dutch Presidency on 4 May 2016 provides an overview of discussions that took place in the seventh secret "trilogue" meeting on 3 May. The first trilogue meeting took place in July 2015.

At the meeting on 3 May the topics of discussions were articles 5 (European Arrest Warrant), 6 (timely and diligent procedures), 7 (quality of legal aid services and training) and 8 (remdies) of the proposed Directive and a forthcoming European Parliament impact assessment.

See: NOTE from: Presidency to: Delegations: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on provisional legal aid for suspects or accused persons deprived of liberty and legal aid in European arrest warrant proceedings = Continuation of discussions (8047/16, 4 May 2016, pdf)

The Presidency's document notes:

"At the trilogue, the European Parliament showed general satisfaction with the text as presented by the Presidency. It expressed reservations on three points, however:

a) The European Parliament would like to make clearer what "involvement" in the recital under Article 6 exactly means; the Parliament will come up with a text proposal in this regard;
b) The European Parliament would like to define "legal aid services" in Article 3; a drafting suggestion has been inserted in that Article;
c) The European Parliament would like to delete the recital under Article 8."

The Presidency subsequently invites Member States' delegations to answer a number of questions:

Q1: The Presidency invites delegations to express their opinion on points b) and c) (insertion of a definition of legal aid services and deletion of the recital under Article 8). Would the suggestions of the European Parliament, on which the Presidency takes a positive view, be acceptable to delegations?

Q2: Member States are invited to indicate if they can accept, in principle, that the concept of "legal aid" be used instead of "provisional legal aid".

Q3: Member States are invited to indicate if they could accept that the Directive applies to situations of deprivation of liberty only, except as regards the investigative or evidence-gathering acts referred to in Article 3(3)(c) of Directive 2013/48/EU, in respect of which it should apply whether the person is deprived of liberty or not.

Q4: Member States are invited to scrutinise these texts carefully and to indicate whether they could be acceptable for them.

The document's annex contains the Presidency's latest version of the text.

The most recent EU-wide statistics on the operation of the European Arrest Warrant show that Member States collectively issued 12,437 warrants in 2013; 7,080 people were arrested on the basis of an EAW; and some 5,000 people were "effectively surrended". See: Replies to questionnaire on quantitative information on the practical operation
of the European arrest warrant - Year 2013
 (8414/2/REV 2, 31 July 2014, pdf)

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