MEPs postpone vote on European arrest warrant

The European Parliament has decided to postpone
the vote on the European arrest warrant until the beginning of
2002. Instead of being adopted directly in a plenary, the
arrest warrant will now go to the Citizens’ Freedoms and
Rights, Justice and Home Affairs Committee where a report will
be prepared.

The European Parliament's opinion on the arrest warrant is
not binding because it falls under the consultation
procedure.

The arrest warrant was agreed at the
Justice and Home Affairs Council on 7 December and adopted
by the 15 EU leaders at the Laeken Summit on 15
December.

The arrest warrant is part of the
wide-ranging measures taken by the EU in the aftermath of
the 11 September terrorist attacks. It will replace the
current lengthy and inefficient extradition procedures in
cases of terrorism and serious crime.

It will be used with reference to a list
of 32 serious cross-border crimes, such as terrorism,
paedophilia, human trafficking and money laundering. The
suspects will be arrested in any EU country and handed over
without the right of appeal.

 

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