This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
More effective extradition procedures: European arrest warrant
It improves and simplifies judicial procedures to speed up the return of people from another European Union (EU) country who have committed a serious crime.
The European arrest warrant (EAW) replaces the extradition system. It requires each national judicial authority to recognise and act on, with a minimum of formalities and within a set deadline, requests made by the judicial authority of another EU country. A warrant asks for a person to be handed over so that:
The warrant applies in the following cases:
Proportionate use of the warrant
EU countries must take the following into consideration (non-exhaustive list):
When an individual is arrested, he/she must be informed of the contents of the arrest warrant.
In which cases must EU countries refuse to act on a warrant?
Rules to ensure procedural rights in arrest-warrant proceedings
Room for improvement
The European Commission adopted its first report on EAW in 2011. It found that although the European arrest warrant was very successful in helping EU countries fight crime, several areas could be improved further, including:
The Commission adopted the 4th Implementation Report on the EAW in July 2020.
It has applied since 7 August 2002 and EU countries must take the necessary measures to comply with this Framework Decision by 31 December 2003.
For further information, see:
Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States — Statements made by certain Member States on the adoption of the framework decision (OJ L 190, 18.7.2002, pp. 1-20)
Successive amendments to Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Directive (EU) 2016/1919 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2016 on legal aid for suspects and accused persons in criminal proceedings and for requested persons in European arrest warrant proceedings (OJ L 297, 4.11.2016, pp. 1-8)
See consolidated version.
Directive 2013/48/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and in European arrest warrant proceedings, and on the right to have a third party informed upon deprivation of liberty and to communicate with third persons and with consular authorities while deprived of liberty (OJ L 294, 6.11.2013, pp. 1-12)
Directive 2012/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2012 on the right to information in criminal proceedings (OJ L 142, 1.6.2012, pp. 1-10)
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation since 2007 of the Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States (COM(2011) 175 final, 11.4.2011)
Directive 2010/64/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings (OJ L 280, 26.10.2010, pp. 1-7)
Statements provided for in Article 31(2) of Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedure between Member States (OJ L 246, 29.9.2003, p. 1)
last update 30.10.2020