|Title||The Application of the Principle of Mutual Recognition in EU Criminal Law Matters - Internally and Externally vis-à-vis Pre-Accession Policy|
This thesis analyses the principle of mutual recognition in EU criminal matters from two perspectives. It argues that the framework upon which this principle is built has become increasingly problematic and that the issues questioning its justification could undermine the results achieved in the pre-accession policy, where the values that support the mutual recognition framework are vigorously employed upon candidate countries. First, the thesis addresses the functioning and legitimacy of the principle of mutual recognition internally, in relation to the Union’s current Member States, with a particular focus on the most prominent mutual recognition instrument in the area of judicial cooperation in criminal matters, the European Arrest Warrant. In recent years, the application of the principle of mutual recognition in this area, has become more challenging due to serious violations of the values which undermines mutual trust and the legitimate application of mutual recognition. Secondly, the thesis examines the principle of mutual recognition externally, vis-à-vis the EU’s pre-accession policy where key values for the application of mutual recognition have obtained a prominent place and should in principle build ground for the application of mutual recognition in criminal matters. The thesis analyses the two pillars upon which the concepts of Normative Power Europe rests: the EU’s normative identity and its normative influence to examine the principle of mutual recognition from both sides. It demonstrates that, internally, the non-commitment to the foundational values which lie at the heart of the EU’s normative identity are very vulnerable and the EU does not have the necessary influence to enforce compliance with the values. It is argued that this undermines the justifiability of the mutual recognition framework. In stark contrast with the internal situation, in the pre-accession policy the EU has strong tools to enforce transformation in the candidate countries to assure that they adhere to the EU’s foundational values and share its identity. However, the results achieved in the pre-accession policy can be easily undermined upon accession due to the problematic internal situation regarding the foundational values.
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