Statistics on Use of EAW in 2018
On 2 July 2020, the European Commission published key statistics on the EAW for 2018. The publication is accompanied by the Commission’s implementation report on the FD EAW (see separate news item). The statistical report compiles replies to a questionnaire, providing quantitative information on use of the EAW in 27 of the 28 EU Member States (i.e., excluding Belgium, which was not able to deliver data for 2018). The key findings are as follows:
- 17,471 warrants were issued in 2018 (the figure is close to the figure for 2017, when 17,491 warrants were issued in 28 Member States);
- The most commonly identified categories of offences for which EAWs were issued were theft offences and criminal damage (2893 European arrest warrants), fraud and corruption offences (1739), and drug offences (1610) – this confirms previous trends.
- 300 EAWs were issued for terrorist offences (in 2017: 241);
- The number of EAWs issued for crimes related to counterfeiting the Euro remains proportionately low (38 EAWs, with 13 EAWs issued by France alone);
- Almost 7000 requested persons were surrendered across borders – a record figure compared to previous years (in 2017: 6317, in 2016: 5812);
- The majority of requested persons (54.5%) consents to their surrender (which is, however, a decrease compared to 2017 at nearly 63%);
- It takes 16 days on average from the arrest to the decision on surrender, when the person consents to his/her surrender (and 45 days when the person does not consent);
- The execution of an EAW was refused in 879 cases (in 26 Member States that provided figures on this question). This recorded aggregate figure has increased since 2017 (796 refusals for 24 Member States) and 2016 (719 refusals for 25 Member States);
- The most common ground for refusal to surrender was Art. 4(6) FD EAW (execution of a custodial sentence or detention order against nationals or residents of the executing State);
- 119 refusals were based on failure to meet the requirements applicable to trials in absentia;
- Fundamental rights issues led to 82 refusals reported by five Member States (76 in Germany);
- 1575 nationals or residents of the executing State were surrendered (based on information by 25 Member States) – which is nearly the same as in 2017 (when 22 Member States provided information).
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 made even more difficult because the response rates of Member States vary from year to year, and approaches to collecting statistical data vary. For the 2017 statistics, seeeucrim 3/2019, pp. 178-179.