Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Czech court clears treaty

Despite President Klaus's impassioned speech to the Czech Constitutional Court, its decision today is that the Constitutional Reform Lisbon Treaty does not, in any way, undermine the Czech Constitution.
The Czech court ruling on Wednesday is especially significant because the Czech Republic will take over the six-month rotating EU presidency in January.

"The Lisbon Treaty... does not run counter to the constitutional order," said court chairman Pavel Rychetsky.

But the treaty's passage through the Czech parliament may not be smooth, as some Eurosceptic members of Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek's party oppose it. Mr Topolanek has said ratification is unlikely to be completed before next year.

The court did not consider the treaty as a whole, but only the articles disputed by critics in Mr Topolanek's party.
We shall see whether those Eurosceptic members will amount to a large enough cohort. It is, however, unlikely that the ratification will happen before January when the Czech Republic takes over the EU Presidency (and we shall see a little less of President Sarkozy in the media).

In the meantime, Poland has not officially ratified the treaty as President Kaczynski has refused to sign it until the Irish deadlock is resolved.

The Swedish Parliament approved the treaty last week by 243 votes to 39 with 67 members absent or abstaining. What is particularly infuriating about all this absenteeism is the fact that another nine votes would have delayed the ratification.

In actual fact, Sweden is the 23rd EU Member State to ratify the Constitutional Reform Lisbon Treaty, as the Constitutional Court has not yet decided in Germany whether the ratification should go ahead and President Koehler will not sign it until there is a ruling.

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