Press Advisories

16. 9. 2009 18:00

Czech government statement on the ratification process for the Treaty of Lisbon

The Committee for the EU today discussed at government level the ratification process for the Treaty of Lisbon within the EU and in particular within the Czech Republic.

In this regard the government stresses that it is still ready to play an active part in this process and thus to continue to meet the joint commitment of all member states from the June European Council to complete ratification of the Treaty by the end of this year.

The parliamentary part of ratification was completed in May 2009, when the Senate expressed its agreement to the Treaty of Lisbon following that given by the Chamber of Deputies; in both cases this was past by a constitutional majority.

In an attempt to leave room for the proposal, notified some time earlier, by a group of senators for a further constitutional review of the Treaty, the Czech President has decided for the moment not to append his signature to the ratification document. The Czech Republic, together with Poland, Ireland and Germany, is thus one of the last countries in the European Union to complete the ratification process.

On the basis of a proposal by the Senate, the Treaty of Lisbon was the subject of a review last year by the Constitutional Court, and was not found to be in contravention of the constitutional order of the Czech Republic. On 1st September 2009 a group of senators approached the Constitutional Court with a further submission which does not concern the Treaty of Lisbon as such, but the so-called "Lisbon Amendments to the Rules of Procedure".

This strengthens the role of parliament in decision-making on certain EU questions. A second submission against the Treaty of Lisbon has not yet been made to the Constitutional Court, although it has been repeatedly advised by the senators. The two proposals are not materially linked and thus there is nothing to prevent the proposal on the Treaty of Lisbon being submitted without further unnecessary delay.

Although the government considers the original finding of the Constitutional Court to be sufficient, it does not call into question the right of senators to subject the Treaty to a thorough legal and political review, as provided for in the constitutional order of the Czech Republic. In this regard the government nevertheless wishes to point out that any continuing deferral of the end of the ratification process would have a negative impact on the position and influence of the Czech Republic within the EU.

During its presidency of the EU Council the Czech Republic demonstrated its ability to be an active and responsible member state. It has convinced its European partners that it is a country which is able to constructively influence the direction of the entire European Union.

The government therefore believes that it will succeed in the near future in dispelling all remaining doubts about the conformity of the Treaty of Lisbon with the Czech Constitution, so that the ratification process can be successfully completed. The government is convinced that thanks to the reform of institutions and policies which the Treaty of Lisbon will bring about, the Union will operate more efficiently and that as a result its member states, including the Czech Republic, will be better able to meet new challenges.

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