The European Commission has today given a reminder that European Arrest Warrants (EAWs) are "a purely judicial procedure". Asked about the warning given by Spain's acting deputy PM, Carmen Calvo, to the Belgian government regarding the EAW for exiled Catalan politician Carles Puigdemont, a spokesperson for the European executive told the ACN agency that they did not "comment on specific cases" because it is the judges in each country who have to "evaluate each case".
However, the Commission spokesperson underlined that the warrants are a "purely judicial" mechanism in which the Commission "has no role". The European executive also emphasized that it "closely supervises" the operation of the EAW system and regularly publishes reports.
This response, implicitly underlining the need to maintain the separation of powers, comes after the Spanish minister Calvo issued a clear threat that Spain could take action against Belgium if the country's courts were to rule against the extradition to Spain of president Puigdemont. "It would not be understood," insisted Carmen Calvo in an interview on radio station Onda Cero this Tuesday. In the opinion of the Spanish executive, the Supreme Court verdict convicting many of Puigdemont's political colleagues should pave the way for him to be handed over.
The Spanish Socialist politician did not want to go into details about "the decisions" that would be taken by her executive, but she noted that "between states there is cooperation, and this can take place with greater or lesser intensity."
Calvo's declarations came after it was known that a court of first instance in Brussels had accepted the request for an adjournment by Puigdemont's defence lawyers and had postponed the hearing until 16th December.
Puigdemont was summonsed to appear in court this Tuesday at 9am to face the extradition proceedings arising from the third EAW that the Spanish justice system has issued against him.