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EU: Klaus should sign Lisbon Treaty in blood

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Prague/Brussels – European Commission President José Manuel Barroso welcomed last week the result of the Czech Senate vote on the Lisbon Treaty, saying is was “very good news”.

He believes that eventually Czech President Václav Klaus will sing the document and bring the ratification process in the Czech Republic to completion.

“I hope that the remaining requirements, stemming from the Czech constitution and the constitutions of other member countries will be met as soon as possible,” Barroso said in a press statement.

In his own words, Barroso is also convinced that after the approval of the EU’s reform treaty by the Czech Senate, there is “a very good outlook for a [new] referendum in Ireland”, where the voters rejected the treaty last year.

Reactions from the European Parliament
Hans-Gert Pöttering, president of the European Parliament also welcomed the outcome of the vote in the Czech Senate. “I am convinced that Václav Klaus will sign the ratification document very soon. It is our joint ambition that the new treaty come into effect at the beginning of next year,” he said.

Josef Daul, member of the Union for a Popular Movement, which is part of the European People’s Party–European Democrats group, was also pleased with the outcome.

Leader of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party Group, Graham Watson, was less diplomatic: “Václav Klaus should now sign the document in blood – ahead of the EU summit in June. What we need now is certainty, not more obfuscation,” he said. His colleague Andrew Duff said the intention of a group of ODS senators to present the document to the Constitutional Court was regrettable.

But according to a statement by Liberates, the decision of the Czech senators shows that although nearly 80% of Czech laws come from Brussels, the Senate wants Czechs to be able to have a say in how they are being ruled by Brussels.

Outgoing Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg also welcomed the Senate’s approval of the treaty. “Our country is thus joining those states that are prepared to follow the European route, which is good news not just for Europe, but also for the national interests of the Czech Republic,” said Schwarzenberg.

He too “firmly believes, that in the near future, the Czech Republic will be able to successfully complete the ratification process, which aims to reform EU institutions and make decision processes in the EU more legitimate, transparent and effective”.

Only two steps remain to bring the ratification to a finish: the president’s signature of the treaty and the signature of the prime minister and then the placement of the treaty into the Lisbon Treaty depository, which is the Italian government.

Besides the Czech Republic and Ireland, the ratification has yet to be completed in Germany, where it is awaiting the final verdict of the constitutional court, and in Poland, whose Eurosceptic President Lech Kaczyński has yet to sign the document.

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