Europe

EU starts legal steps against 5 countries over EU arrest warrant

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European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, July 14, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

BRUSSELS, Dec 2 (Reuters) - The European Commission started legal steps on Thursday against France, Malta, Latvia, Portugal and Slovakia for failing to fully transpose into national laws the EU's European Arrest Warrant law, which has been operational since the start of 2004.

The European Arrest Warrant is a simplified cross-border judicial procedure to surrender a requested person for the purpose of prosecution or executing a custodial sentence or detention order.

It is valid in all of the EU and replaced lengthy extradition steps that used to exist between EU countries.

The five countries now have two months to clarify how they plan to fully transpose the European Arrest Warrant into national laws or face being sued in the EU's top court.

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Reporting by Jan Strupczewski

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