Security Union: More than 17,000 European arrest warrants issued to swiftly surrender serious criminals

Today, the European Commission releases key statistics on the European arrest warrant. With 16,636 warrants issued in 2016 and 17,491 in 2017, the European arrest warrant is the most used EU instrument of judicial cooperation in criminal matters since its launch in 2004. Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said, “Thanks to the European arrest warrant, EU citizens are living in a safer place. No matter where criminals and terrorists hide in Europe, they will be brought to justice. This example shows that the EU is based on mutual trust and the rule of law. Its success relies on good cooperation of European and national authorities”. In total, in 2017, over 7,000 people suspected of serious crime and terrorism were surrendered across borders. In terms of procedure, from the arrest to the decision on surrender, it takes on average 15 days when the person consents to their surrender and 40 days when the person does not consent. Even if the duration of surrender procedures varies greatly between EU countries, it has significantly decreased on average. More details are available in the statistics report, as well as in factsheets that are available online.