European Arrest Warrant a vital tool, which must be improved

Renew Europe believes the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) serves as a vital instrument to simplify the extradition of criminals between Member States. However, the instrument has some flaws that are being addressed in an implementation report debated in plenary today. The report highlights concerns relating to prison conditions, the lack of consistent data on execution and the shortfall in procedural safeguards, and seeks to avoid impunity in the Schengen area through judicial cooperation adapted to our digital era and threats to the rule of law.

Improving judicial cooperation in criminal matters to ensure that both the suspects and victims of crimes have their rights protected during criminal proceedings anywhere the EU is a Renew Europe priority. We are therefore pleased with our group’s strong footprint in the report on how to improve the instrument. Among other things, we achieved to include the need for proportionality checks to avoid misuse of EAW in minor offences and the necessity for effective legal remedies for persons whose rights and freedoms have been violated by an EAW.

MEP Maite Pagazaurtundúa, Renew Europe’s shadow on the report, comments:

“Proportionality means not using the instrument for minor offences, while being effective in prosecuting the most serious crimes, such as serious threats to public order of the Member States, offences against the constitutional integrity of the Member States committed through the use of violence, crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. All this in the context of an increased commitment by Member States to judicial cooperation, the rule of law and fundamental rights”.

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