29 Mar 2013

Europe’s most wanted? Recalibrating Trust in the European Arrest Warrant System

Sergio Carrera / Elspeth Guild / Nicholas Hernanz

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This paper assesses the uses and misuses in the application of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) system in the EU by examining the main quantitative results of this new extradition system achieved between 2005 and 2011. It argues that the next generation of the EU’s criminal justice cooperation and the EAW need to recognise and acknowledge that the mutual trust premise upon which the European system has been built so far is no longer viable without devising new structures and evaluation mechanisms for EU policy stakeholders. These should allow for the recalibration of mutual trust and mistrust in EU justice systems in light of the experiences of the criminal justice actors and practitioners having a stake in putting the EAW into daily effect. Such a ‘bottom-up approach’ should be backed up with the best impartial and objective evaluation, an improved system of statistical collection and an independent qualitative assessment of its implementation.

Sergio Carrera is Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Justice and Home Affairs Section at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). Elspeth Guild is Associate Senior Research Fellow in the same Section at CEPS and Jean Monnet Professor ad personam at Queen Mary, University of London as well as at the Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands. Nicholas Hernanz is Research Assistant at CEPS.