Czech president signs Treaty of Lisbon

[JURIST] Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus [official website, in Czech] signed the EU reform treaty, known as the Treaty of Lisbon [EU materials; JURIST news archive] Tuesday after the country's Constitutional Court [official website, in Czech] ruled [judgment, PDF, in Czech] that the treaty does not conflict with the country's constitution. Klaus signed the treaty, despite maintaining his position [press release, in Czech] that the court's decision was political and that the treaty interferes with Czech sovereignty. The Czech Republic is the last EU member state to ratify the treaty. Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, representing the Swedish Presidency of the EU [official website], welcomed [press release] Klaus's signing:


I am very pleased that president Klaus today has signed the Lisbon Treaty. His signature ends a far too long period of institutional focus within the EU. It opens up for a more democratic, transparent and efficent [sic] Union.

The treaty is set to go into effect on December 1.

Klaus had been reluctant to ratify the treaty due to concerns over property claims of ethnic Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia during WWII. However, a breakthrough in negotiations came last week when EU leaders reached an agreement on an opt-out clause [JURIST report] for the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic's Chamber of Deputies [official website] approved [JURIST report] the treaty in February, and the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic [official website] voted to approve [JURIST report] the treaty in March. Efforts to ratify the treaty [JURIST news archive] in all 27 EU member states, as required for approval, had faced opposition. Poland and Ireland [JURIST reports] approved the treaty earlier in the month, but only after certain guarantees were made by the EU. Germany ratified [JURIST report] the treaty in September.


 

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