EU: Study on the implementation of the European Arrest Warrant

A study on the implementation of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) commissioned by the European Parliament's civil liberties commitee (LIBE) concludes that it "has simplified and sped up handover procedures, including for some high-profile cases of serious crime and terrorism," but that there are ongoing challenges "concerning judicial independence, the nature of mutual recognition and its relationship with international and EU law and values, constitutional principles and additional harmonisation measures."

"This study provides an assessment and conclusions on the implementation of the FD [Framework Directive] EAW. It also contains recommendations on how to address the shortcomings identified, as per the request of the rapporteur. It is intended to contribute to the Parliament's discussions on this topic, improving understanding of the subject, and ultimately feeding into the implementation report. The study concludes that the FD EAW has simplified and sped up handover procedures, including for some high-profile cases of serious crime and terrorism. A number of outstanding challenges relate back to core debates concerning judicial independence, the nature of mutual recognition and its relationship with international and EU law and values, constitutional principles and additional harmonisation measures. Furthermore, there are gaps in effectiveness, efficiency and coherence with other measures and the application of digital tools. The study recommends targeted infringement proceedings, support to judicial authorities and hearing suspects via video-link where appropriate to a void surrender whilst ensuring the effective exercise of defence rights, as well asa range of measures aimed at achieving humane treatment of prisoners. In the medium term, for reasons of legitimacy, legal certainty and coherence,it recommends a review of the FD EAW as part of an EU judicial cooperation code in criminal matters."

See: European Arrest Warrant: European Implementation Assessment (pdf)

The report follows a previous analysis: European arrest warrant: Framework for analysis and preliminary findings on its implementation (9 March 2020)

Numerous concerns have arisen about the execution of European Arrest Warrants issued by Poland in recent years, due to the government's undermining of judicial independence. In July 2018 the Court of Justice of the EU ruled that member states could refuse warrants issued by the country (EurActiv, link).

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