Statistics on Use of EAW in 2017
12 January 2020
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

On 28 August 2019, the Commission published statistical data on use of the European Arrest Warrant in 2017. The document, officially entitled “Replies to questionnaire on quantitative information on the practical operation of the European arrest warrant –Year 2017,” compiles data from the EU Member States, both as regards the issuing and the execution of EAWs. The Commission also provides an infographic that outlines the results. In addition, the Commission published a factsheet for citizens entitled “European arrest warrant – Makes Europe a safer place.”

As regards Member States as issuing States, the following figures are of interest:

  • The total number of EAWs issued by Member States for the year 2017 is 17,491, whereas 16,636 EAWs were issued in 2016 and 16,144 in 2015.
  • Most EAWs were issued for theft offences and criminal damage (2649), fraud and corruption offences (1538), and drug offences (1535) in 2017. All these figures indicate a slight increase in comparison to 2016. 241 EAWs were issued for terrorism offences, of which 183 were issued by France alone and 30 by Italy. In comparison, in 2016, 165 EAWs were issued for terrorism offences.
  • 6317 issued EAWs resulted in the effective surrender of the person sought in 2017.

As regards Member States as executing States, the following can be said:

  • The total number of persons actually arrested in 2017 was 7738, compared to 7056 persons arrested by means of an EAW in 2016 (though only 24 Member States provided information for that year, but 28 for 2017).
  • The highest number of arrests in 2017 occurred in the United Kingdom (1510 arrests), Romania (853), and Spain (818).
  • ¡ In the 26 Member States that provided specific figures, judicial authorities initiated 8801 surrender proceedings.
  • ¡ The average duration of the extradition procedure – if the person sought did not consent to his/her surrender – decreased from 50.4 days in 2016 to 40.13 days in 2017.
  • According to replies from 24 Member States, the execution of an EAW was refused in 796 cases in 2017. This figure is quite stable compared to 2016 (719 refusals for 25 Member States).
  • The most common reason for non-execution in 2017 was that contained in Art. 4 No. 6 of the FD EAW: the executing state undertakes the execution of a custodial sentence against its nationals or residents. The situation in 2016 was similar.
  • The grounds for mandatory non-execution (Art. 3 of the FD) are still rarely applied.
  • Seven Member States reported a total of 100 refusals because the requirements of Art. 4a of the FD EAW (in absentia situations) had not been met in 2017; this is an increase compared to 2016 (65 refusals).
  • Fundamental rights issues led to refusals in seven Member States in a total of 109 reported cases.

It should be stressed that the figures must be interpreted cautiously. Not all of the Member States provided replies to every question in the standard questionnaire. Comparison to previous years is even more difficult because the response rates of Member States vary from year to year, and approaches to collecting statistical data vary.

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