European Arrest Warrant
The European arrest warrant ("EAW") is a simplified cross-border judicial surrender procedure – for the purpose of prosecuting or executing a custodial sentence or detention order. A warrant issued by one EU country's judicial authority is valid in the entire territory of the EU. The European arrest warrant has been operational since 1 January 2004. It has replaced the lengthy extradition procedures that used to exist between EU countries.
European Investigation Order, mutual legal assistance and Joint Investigation Teams
This section gives an overview of EU law on gathering evidence, providing mutual legal assistance and setting up Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) in cross-border cases.
Detention and transfer of prisoners
The EU helps rehabilitate prisoners by allowing them to serve their sentence in their home country. To do this, it has set up a system to transfer prisoners back to the EU country from which they come, the one they normally live in or with which they have close ties.
The confiscation of the proceeds of crime has long been seen within the European Union as one of the most effective tools to fight organised crime. The confiscation targets the main reason of existence of criminal organisations, i.e. maximisation of profit by illicit means. Confiscation means a final judicial decision, which results in the final deprivation of property.
Freezing of assets and evidence
Freezing of property or evidence in the European Union may be required to enable its use in a criminal trial or in view of its confiscation. It can be done on the basis of the Council Framework Decision which establishes the rules under which a Member State is to recognise and execute in its territory a freezing order issued by a judicial authority of another Member State in the framework of criminal proceedings.
Payment of fines
The principle of mutual recognition covers also the execution of financial penalties in cross-border cases by facilitating the enforcement of such penalties in a Member State other than the State in which the penalties are imposed.
European Protection Order
The judicial protection offered to a victim of violence and harassment can be enforced in other EU countries.
Taking into account previous convictions
ECRIS (European Criminal Records Information Exchange System) was created in April 2012 to facilitate the exchange of information on criminal records throughout the EU. It establishes electronic interconnections between Member States and puts rules into place to ensure that information on convictions as contained in the criminal records system of the Member States can be exchanged through standardised electronic formats, in a uniform and speedy way, and within short legal deadlines.