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Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

Commission takes action to ensure Croatia implements the European Arrest Warrant correctly


Today the European Commission launched the so-called "Article 39 procedure" on Croatia. This means the activation of the justice and home affairs safeguard clause in Croatia's Accession Treaty to take appropriate measures in view of the continued non-compliance by Croatia with the European Arrest Warrant Framework Decision.

The Commission has started the consultation with Member States on the proposed action. Member States have ten working days to provide comments.

Last Friday, Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner together with President Barroso and Commissioner Füle who is responsible for enlargement policy, informed the College about the facts and received full backing for action under Article 39 of Croatia's Accession Treaty.

Speaking at a press conference in Trieste, Viviane Reding said "I am a friend of Croatia. And let me make it clear: I am not acting against the Croatian people. I worked hard inside the Commission and with the Member States to facilitate Croatia's accession into the EU. I am disappointed that, just three days prior to accession, all this hard work has been put in jeopardy."

Today's move follows numerous Commission warnings and exchanges with the Croatian authorities over the summer. The Commission has consistently requested a swift and unconditional correction of the Croatian legislation implementing the European Arrest Warrant to bring it back in line with the EU-acquis.

On Monday, Vice-President Reding reminded that "There is no opt-out from the rule of law - Every Member State has to apply it. And it is the Commission's job to make sure of this. The law is the law and lady justice is blind."