[JURIST] The Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic [official website] voted Wednesday to approve the European Union (EU) reform treaty, also known as the Lisbon Treaty [EU materials; text], sending the document to Czech President Vaclav Klaus [official website] for ratification. If the treaty is ratified, Ireland will be the only remaining EU country not to have ratified it. Klaus has indicated that he will not approve the ratification [AFP report], saying [statement] that the Czech senators "turned their back on the long-term interests of the Czech Republic." Klaus also said that he would wait [Prague Post report] to sign the Senate approval until after the country's Constitutional Court rules on the treaty and the results are known from the second round of an Irish referendum on ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.
In March, the resignation of then-prime minister Mirek Topolanek [official website; JURIST news archive] cast doubt on the future of Lisbon Treaty ratification in the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic's Chamber of Deputies [official website], or lower house of parliament, in February approved [press release; JURIST report] the Lisbon Treaty. Beyond challenges in the Czech Republic, the treaty still must pass a referendum in Ireland where voters had earlier rejected [JURIST reports] the treaty in a June 2008 referendum, prompting Polish President Lech Kaczynski [official website] to refuse [JURIST report] to sign, calling it "pointless." In November, Sweden became the 24th EU state to ratify the charter [JURIST report]. In 2005, a proposed European constitution [JURIST news archive] failed when voters in France and the Netherlands [JURIST reports] rejected the proposal in national referenda.