29th Jan 2023

Czech President vetoes bill on European arrest warrant

  • Václav Klaus - succeeded Václav Havel as Czech president in 2003. (Photo:

President of the Czech Republic Václav Klaus has vetoed a bill on the European arrest warrant.

Radio Praha reports that the bill would have made it possible for Czech citizens to be extradited to other EU countries to face trial.

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Mr Klaus said that to pass such a bill would mean to hand over a part of the country's sovereignty and its right to protect its citizens.

Václav Klaus was elected President of the Czech Republic on 28 February 2003 and succeeded Václav Havel. As co-founder and former chairman of the Czech conservative Civic-Democratic Party, ODS, he has often voiced scepticism on the process of European integration.

Arrest warrant followed terror attacks

EU Justice and Home affairs ministers suggested the setting up of a European arrest warrant after the terror attacks in the US on 11 September, 2001.

The Commission had drafted a proposal by 20 September 2001, just nine days after the tragic attacks on New York and Washington.

The European arrest warrant entered into force in January 2004 in eight EU member states - Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

However, several other states have been very slow to adopt it.

The warrant is designed to stop criminals moving freely around the EU as law enforcers deal with extradition rules every time a suspect moves from one EU state to another.

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