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European arrest warrant

The European arrest warrant is a judicial decision issued by an EU country with a view to the arrest and surrender by another EU country of a person being sought for a criminal prosecution or a custodial sentence.

It is a tool designed to strengthen cooperation between EU countries' judicial authorities based on the principle of mutual recognition of decisions in criminal matters.

The European arrest warrant is based on a Framework Decision adopted by the Council on 13 June 2002 and amended in 2009. Three EU directives on procedural rights adopted since 2010 will ensure that persons who are the subject of a European arrest warrant are entitled to the services of a lawyer and an interpreter and must receive information on their rights.