Six Member States plan early implementation of EU-wide arrest warrant

Belgium, Britain, France, Luxembourg, Portugal
and Spain are expected to implement the necessary legislation
to introduce the EU arrest warrant by early 2003, a year
earlier than planned. The agreement was reached during the
informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers held in
Santiago de Compostela on 14 February.

The countries invoked an article of the framework Decision
on the arrest warrant stipulating that Member States which
have already adopted their national measures may apply the
warrant in their relations with those States which so
agree. In practice this will allow the European arrest
warrant to be brought into effect in less than a year.

The Ministers have said that the
mechanism agreed today will in fact enable them to apply
the arrest and surrender warrant even earlier than that if
the national legislations are adapted in time. Germany also
intends to press ahead with its arrangements for an early
entry into force of the warrant.


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