Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 2 April 2020 (request for a preliminary ruling from the Vrhovni sud — Croatia) — Criminal proceedings against I.N.

(Case C-897/19 PPU) 1

(Reference for a preliminary ruling — Urgent preliminary ruling procedure — EEA Agreement — Non-discrimination — Article 36 — Freedom to provide services — Scope — Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway concerning the latters’ association with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis — Agreement on the surrender procedure between the Member States of the European Union and Iceland and Norway — Extradition to a third State of an Icelandic national — Protection of a Member State’s nationals against extradition — No equivalent protection for nationals of another State — Icelandic national who was granted asylum under national law before acquiring Icelandic citizenship — Restriction of freedom of movement — Justification based on the prevention of impunity — Proportionality — Verification of the guarantees provided for in Article 19(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union)

Language of the case: Croatian

Referring court

Vrhovni sud

Party in the main proceedings

I.N.

Intervener: Ruska Federacija

Operative part of the judgment

EU law, in particular Article 36 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992 and Article 19(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be interpreted as meaning that, when a Member State, to which a national of a Member State of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) — which is a party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and with which the European Union has concluded a surrender agreement — has moved, receives an extradition request from a third State pursuant to the European Convention on Extradition, signed at Paris on 13 December 1957, and when that national was granted asylum by that EFTA State — before he or she acquired the nationality of that State — precisely on account of the criminal proceedings brought against him or her in the State which issued the request for extradition, it is for the competent authority of the requested Member State to verify that the extradition would not infringe the rights covered by Article 19(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the grant of asylum being a particularly substantial piece of evidence in the context of that verification. Before considering executing the request for extradition, the requested Member State is obliged, in any event, to inform that same EFTA State and, should that State so request, surrender that national to it, in accordance with the provisions of the surrender agreement, provided that that EFTA State has jurisdiction, pursuant to its national law, to prosecute that national for offences committed outside its national territory.

____________

1 OJ C 45, 10.2.2020.