Czechs not to ratify Lisbon treaty in 2008 - PM Topolanek

15:08, 04 November 2008
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The Czech Republic will not ratify...

The Czech Republic will not ratify the Lisbon treaty this year, but it might do so in the first quarter of 2009, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek (Civic Democrats, ODS) told reporters today after a meeting with his Finnish counterpart Matti Vanhanen, according to Czech Happenings .

"It is apparent that it will not happen this year, I would say due to external influences," Topolanek admitted.

He recalled that the Constitutional Court had postponed the discussion of the EU Lisbon treaty by two weeks on President Vaclav Klaus`s request.

Klaus will leave for a visit to Ireland and Saudi Arabia on November 10, the day when the court was originally to deal with the treaty, so the court would assess it on November 25 only.

Consequently, the parliament would not be able to adopt the Lisbon treaty this year with regard to the time for parliamentary debate given by the constitution, Topolanek said.

"It is in a certain way unacceptable that we will negotiate further procedure with Ireland, and at the same time we will be a country that has not yet ratified the Lisbon treaty," Topolanek added.

Irish citizens rejected the Lisbon treaty in a referendum in June and the EU is now deciding further steps in this respect.

The Czech Republic will preside the EU as from January.

Klaus called the treaty "a dead document" after the Irish no.

Topolanek recalled that the German Constitutional Court would deal with a similar matter in the first quarter of 2009 and that Poland had not yet ratified the treaty either.

However, the postponement of the ratification of the EU reform treaty should not complicate the Czech Republic`s EU presidency, Topolanek added.

The Lisbon treaty has to be ratified by all 27 EU member states to take effect.


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