EP Study on Politically Motivated Interpol Red Notices
17 February 2022
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

On 7 February 2022, the LIBE Committee discussed a study which analysed the EU’s possibilities to protect EU citizens from politically motivated Interpol Red Notices.

Red Notices refer to worldwide requests between Interpol states to temporarily detain a person for a serious crime pending extradition. Interpol is not allowed to circulate Red Notices if the requesting states commit human rights violations. For this purpose, internal controls are to be carried out by Interpol. The number of Red Notices has significantly increased in recent years.

The study points out that the risk of politically motivated Red Notices is real and has increased. Despite reforms of the Interpol Red Notice System since 2013, a number of legal tools continue to be lacking and there is a substandard transparency in the processing of Red Notices. Considering the amount of notices in circulation and the current set up, proper legal safeguards cannot be expected to be sufficiently enforced in the near feature.

Against this background, the study makes several recommendations to the EU institutions to improve the handling of Red Notices within the bloc. This includes the request to the Commission to push through concerns by the EU in negotiations with Interpol, such as:

  • Production of a forecast analysis and modelling that account for high volume cases and decentralised review;
  • Availability of procedural and substantive tools that ensure consistent and transparent processing of requests, reviews, challenges, corrections and deletions;
  • Production of annual statistical data on the processing of Red Notice requests;
  • Development of public risk profiles of countries requesting Red Notices.

Internally, the EU should improve and better use synergies of platforms that facilitate the information exchange. According to the study, the European Search Portal is already a good starting point but its legal and institutional framework must further be developed. This could include a database on decisions related to Red Notices as well as a repository with relevant and updated human rights information on requesting countries.