In response to an explicit request by the Council, the Commission has recently published a Green Paper on detention entitled: 'Strengthening mutual trust in the European judicial area – Green Paper on the application of EU criminal justice legislation in the field of detention'.
- highlights the links between detention conditions and various EU instruments, such as the European Arrest Warrant;
- illustrates how pre-trial detention, the situation of children and detention conditions fall within the remit of EU competences; and
- launches an open consultation with stakeholders to identify how EU actions can improve detention conditions in Member States and thereby contribute to the fostering of mutual trust in judicial cooperation.
Moreover, the annex to the communication clearly illustrates the worryingly varying detention conditions in Member States, especially with regard to the number of pre-trial detainees, overcrowding, the prison population rates and the rates of non-national detainees.
As a follow-up to this communication, and bearing in mind that the European Court of Human Rights has also repeatedly condemned EU Member States over detention conditions and the length of pre-trial detention and the administration of justice, what concrete steps will the Commission take at EU level to ensure that the fundamental rights of persons detained in prisons are respected and that detention conditions are improved in Member States?
What will the Commission do in relation to the abuse of pre-trial detention, overcrowding, high prison population rates and rates of non-national detainees? Will it examine the impact of criminal policies and laws on detention conditions and make recommendations in relation to these issues, such as recourse to alternative measures, criminalisation of irregular migrants, extraordinary measures to ensure that fundamental rights are respected, etc?