The Hungarian Presidency has defended the institution of the European arrest warrant at the European Parliament’s plenary debate on 8 June 2011. Minister of State of the Foreign Ministry, Eniko Gyori stated, “The advantages of the European arrest warrant by far outweigh any possible inconveniences.”
The Minister of State for EU Affairs underlined that the European arrest warrant (EAW), has become one of the most successful instruments of mutual recognition, which has been adopted within the European Union (EU). The institution of the EAW has managed to reduce the surrender times considerably, also, in many cases, from one or two years to only one or two months, Ms Gyori said.
The Minister of State admitted that the EAW has received a lot of criticism due to applying it to certain cases despite the minor nature of the offence. In such cases, however, it is not the EAW who should be blamed: the problem lies in the differences of the criminal justice policies of Member States, when deciding on the issuance of an EAW falls within the competence of national judicial authorities, Eniko Gyori highlighted.
The Minister of State reminded MEPs that European arrest warrant can only be initiated if the issuing state would place the accused under pre-trial detention. In addition to this, the Council called for Member States to consider the use of alternatives to an EAW.
“Therefore we cannot answer criticisms over the principle of proportionality by fundamentally changing the already well-functioning system of the European arrest warrant,” Ms Gyori stated.
She stressed that a “European arrest warrant is always based on the issuing state’s national arrest warrant, and it can be executed in the executing state only through a judicial decision,”, she stressed. The subject person will always be able to fully exercise his defence rights in the issuing Member State, where the trial on the merits of the case takes place. This is in full compliance with the case law of the European Court on Human Rights in Strasbourg, Eniko Gyori stated.