5. Ensuring optimal use of judicial cooperation instruments

5.1. European Arrest Warrant

The Framework Decision on the European Arrest Warrant was adopted just a few months after the Council established Eurojust in 2002; Eurojust has supported the use of the EAW throughout the entire history of the Agency.

20 years of EAW and Eurojust – a timeline
07/07/2021 Report on Eurojust’s Casework in the Field of the European Arrest Warrant 2017-2020
01/10/2019 Eurojust Guidelines for deciding on competing requests for surrender and extradition
11/06/2019 Following the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 27 May 2019 in joined cases OG (C-508/18) and PI (C-82/19 PPU) and in case PF (C-509/18), relating to the concept of ‘issuing judicial authority’ in the context of the EAW, Eurojust and the EJN issue a questionnaire to compile information on the situation in the Member States and continue to monitor the situation – latest edition here
2018 Eurojust creates a smart PDF form that national authorities can use to inform Eurojust that they cannot observe the time limits, giving the reasons for the delay (Article 17(7) of the EAW FD). This form is available on Eurojust’s website in 22 languages
01/05/2017 Report on Eurojust’s Casework in the Field of the European Arrest Warrant 2014-2016
14/02/2017 Eurojust College discussion on the EAW and prison conditions
2017 First edition of Eurojust’s report on case law by the Court of Justice of the EU on the EAW published in 2017 – most recent issue here
05/04/2016 The European Court of Justice delivers its judgment in the Aranyosi and Caldararu cases on the EAW, prison conditions and fundamental rights
11/06/2014 Eurojust seminar on 'The European Arrest Warrant: Which way forward?'
26/05/2014 Report on Eurojust’s Casework in the Field of the European Arrest Warrant 2007-2013, and Report on notifications to Eurojust of breaches of time limits in the execution of European Arrest Warrants
2004 Eurojust guidelines on competing EAWs published in Eurojust Annual Report 2004
25-26/10/2004 First Eurojust seminar for practitioners in Prague, addressing practical issues related to the EAW
01/01/2004 Framework Decision enters into force
13/06/2002 2002/584/JHA: Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European Arrest Warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States adopted
EAW casework of Eurojust, 2007-2021

Eurojust casework in the field of the EAW


Report on Eurojust’s Casework in the Field of the European Arrest Warrant

Published: July 2021

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Judicial authorities in EU Member States are increasingly turning to Eurojust for expertise and assistance in the execution of EAWs. Between 2017 and 2020, the number of demands more than doubled to 2 235, compared with the period from 2013 to 2016.

Many cases concerned grounds for refusal, fundamental rights and requests for additional information. Horizontal issues related to problems with direct contact, language issues or non-compliance with time limits, which had already been identified in other Eurojust reports, often created obstacles in the application of the EAW.

The report refers to recent developments in the case law of the European Court of Justice, which has been crucial in further defining the scope of the EAW Framework Decision and the rights and obligations set forth in this instrument. This case law has had a significant impact on Eurojust’s casework in relation to different aspects, including prison conditions, rule of law and in absentia judgments, as well as the interpretation of basic concepts such as issuing and executing judicial authority.

The report also highlights that the EAW and the other European legal instruments founded on the principle of mutual recognition (transfer of prisoners Framework Decision and the European Investigation Order Directive) are instrumental in shaping the EU justice system.


Case-law by the Court of Justice of the European Union on the European Arrest Warrant

Published: December 2021

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Based on Eurojust’s casework, the report identifies solutions and best practices for judicial practitioners, but also highlights potential challenges for authorities when using an EAW. It provides conclusions and recommendations to improve the use of EAWs, as well as examples of concrete, anonymised cases, which can help with the execution of future warrants.


Updated Questionnaire and Compilation on the Requirements for Issuing and Executing Judicial Authorities in EAW Proceedings pursuant to the CJEU’s Case-Law

Published: April 2021

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Case-law by the Court of Justice of the European Union on the European Arrest Warrant

Eurojust published two editions of the analysis of the case law of the CJEU in 2021, (April and December). Eurojust will continue to publish this update biannually.

The case law overview contains summaries of the CJEU’s judgments reflecting the structure of the EAW Framework Decision, with the most recent edition containing analysis of 61 judgments and 11 ongoing cases.

Requirements for Issuing and Executing Judicial Authorities in EAW proceedings pursuant to CJEU case law

As a follow-up to the specific case law of the CJEU on the notion of judicial authority in the EAW FD, Eurojust and the EJN have been working together on a compilation, providing information on the legal position of the public prosecutor within the national legal systems, as well as of the competent authorities to issue and execute EAWs. The compilation continued to be updated in 2021.

Eurojust advice for competing EAWs taken on board by court

Crime: Romania and Italy each issued EAWs against the same person, in relation to participation in a criminal organisation and other serious crimes. The purpose of the Romanian EAW was for prosecution, while the two Italian EAWs were for the execution of custodial sentences. The requested person was arrested in the Netherlands.

Eurojust's Role: In 2021, the Dutch Court of Amsterdam requested that Eurojust provide a formal opinion on the priority to be given between the Romanian and the Italian EAWs, and to clarify legal issues related to the surrender of a Romanian citizen and the possible execution of the Italian judgments in Romania. National Members of Italy, Romania and the Netherlands issued advice on the competing EAWs, recommending the execution of the EAW from Romania.

Judicial tool: Eurojust, applying its Guidelines for deciding on competing requests for surrender and extradition, considered the specifics of the case and decided, based on the priority of the EAW for prosecution purposes, the absence of any obvious risks of impunity related to the subsequent execution of the cumulative sentence included in the EAWs of Italy, and also the seriousness of the offences and the rehabilitation objective.

The Dutch court followed Eurojust’s advice to prioritise the execution of the Romanian EAW. After surrender from the Netherlands to Romania, the Italian judgements of conviction have been recognised by the Romanian courts, upon the request of the Italian judicial authorities.

Flags of IT, RO, NL, logo of Eurojust