Swoboda on Croatian implementation of European Arrest Warrant

The European Commission has launched the first steps of a procedure against Croatia under article 39 of the Accession Treaty. Three days before joining the European Union in July 2013, Croatia modified the legal framework relating to the European Arrest Warrant to exclude crimes before 2002.

Commenting on the situation, Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, said:

„The European Arrest Warrant is an essential piece of legislation which must be implemented in all EU member states. The European Arrest Warrant is not optional, particularly considering Croatia’s past and outstanding arrests in connection with the war.

„The priority must be to reinstall the European Arrest Warrant in Croatia within a reasonable timeframe. Setting unilateral deadlines is not helpful. I am confident that bilateral talks between Prime Minister Milanović and Commission President Barroso will find a solution. In view of a possible compromise, the Commission’s decision was rash.

„I do not question Croatia’s general readiness as an EU member state however. We are dealing with an isolated problem which can be solved without further implications. Any comparisons to countries like Hungary – where we see continued, aggressive attacks on democracy – are absurd.“