Organized by the T.M.C. Asser Instituut, this project analyzed in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute the implementation of the EU Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant in all Member States of the EU. The Max Planck Institute prepared the German country report and thereby had early access to the entire database, which was subsequently published as an electronic information system in the Internet. The Institute was also integrally involved in the project’s final conference.

The Coun­cil Frame­work De­cision of June 2002 on the European ar­rest war­rant and sur­render pro­ced­ures between Mem­ber States is the most im­port­ant in­stru­ment to date build­ing on the prin­ciple of mu­tu­al re­cog­ni­tion and thus seek­ing to cre­ate ef­fect­ive transna­tion­al crim­in­al law. The Frame­work De­cision serves to cre­ate an EU-wide “sur­render zone” in which ex­tra­di­tion is no longer ne­ces­sary. With­in this zone, a ju­di­cial au­thor­ity of one State can pe­ti­tion an­oth­er State for a simple and ex­ped­i­tious sur­render of sen­tenced or sus­pec­ted per­sons resid­ing there. One of the in­nov­a­tions is the elim­in­a­tion of veri­fic­a­tion of double crimin­al­ity in Art. 2 § 2. Even the sur­render of a State’s own cit­izen is now pos­sible in prin­ciple. Of con­sid­er­able im­port­ance was the fact that im­ple­ment­a­tion and en­force­ment on the na­tion­al level took place in a uni­form and trans­par­ent man­ner in or­der to achieve EU-wide ap­plic­a­tion of the ob­ject­ives con­tained in the Frame­work De­cision. However, in some coun­tries the spe­cificity of the cata­logue of of­fenses and the sur­render of a State’s own cit­izens led to con­sti­tu­tion­al prob­lems (Ger­many, Bel­gi­um, and Po­land).

The "European Ar­rest War­rant" pro­ject aimed to fa­cil­it­ate uni­form and trans­par­ent im­ple­ment­a­tion of the new sur­render pro­ced­ure in 27 EU Mem­ber States as well as in Nor­way, Ice­land, Switzer­land, and Croa­tia. The primary goal was to pro­mote com­mu­nic­a­tion, prac­tic­al im­ple­ment­a­tion, and aca­dem­ic re­search in the area of ju­di­cial co­oper­a­tion in crim­in­al mat­ters. To this end, in­form­a­tion on the European ar­rest war­rant was ana­lyzed, an ac­count made of its im­ple­ment­a­tion and ap­plic­a­tion on the na­tion­al level, and an EU-wide net­work of cor­res­pond­ents and ex­perts cre­ated. The pro­ject was sponsored by a "European" con­sor­ti­um that in­cluded, along with the T.M.C. As­s­er In­stituut and the Max Planck In­sti­tute, ad­di­tion­al ex­per­i­enced part­ners – such as the European Crim­in­al Bar As­so­ci­ation (ECBA), the Min­istry of Justice in Lon­don, and the Fac­ulty of Law of the Uni­versity of Lund (Sweden).

The pro­ject, fin­anced in part by the EU Com­mis­sion with­in the frame­work of the AGIS Pro­gram, has its own In­ter­net site. It in­volved the close co­oper­a­tion of the cor­res­pond­ents, the mem­bers of the Re­search Coun­cil, and the Steer­ing Com­mit­tee. The cor­res­pond­ents worked on a uni­form cata­logue of ques­tions and pre­pared coun­try re­ports, based on a com­mon out­line, on na­tion­al im­ple­ment­a­tion laws. These re­ports en­abled leg­al com­par­is­ons to be drawn among the in­di­vidu­al Mem­ber States and af­forded the Max Planck In­sti­tute the op­por­tun­ity to fur­ther de­vel­op its own re­search goals.

The pro­ject had a cor­res­pond­ent in al­most every EU Mem­ber State. In ad­di­tion to provid­ing a com­pil­a­tion of all na­tion­al im­ple­ment­a­tion laws (in Eng­lish where pos­sible) and the Coun­cil's in­form­a­tion on the im­ple­ment­a­tion phase in the in­di­vidu­al coun­tries, the cor­res­pond­ents also provided top­ic­al bib­li­o­graph­ies as well as com­ment­ar­ies on the sig­ni­fic­ant leg­al de­cisions of the highest courts. Fur­ther­more, in al­most all the coun­tries, coun­try re­ports were pre­pared that con­tained an ex­tens­ive ana­lys­is of any im­ple­ment­a­tion and ap­plic­a­tion prob­lems. In June 2006, a com­pre­hens­ive fi­nal con­fer­ence, in which all par­ti­cip­at­ing States col­lab­or­ated, took place in Noord­wijker­hout (Neth­er­lands). The con­fer­ence af­forded an op­por­tun­ity for the ex­change on the in­ter­na­tion­al level of na­tion­al ex­per­i­ences with the European ar­rest war­rant and a com­par­is­on of all the find­ings. The T.M.C. As­s­er In­stituut car­ried out a com­par­at­ive leg­al ana­lys­is of the coun­try in­form­a­tion.