Czech Constitutional Court OKs Lisbon Treaty (Update)
It does not infringe the Czech constitution
The eagerly anticipated session of the Constitutional Court delivered its verdict just a few minutes after it has started this morning.
It stated that the Lisbon Treaty does not infringe the Czech constitution.
"The Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and Treaty on establishing the European Community and Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union are not in conflict with the constitutional order," were the first words of Pavel Rychetský, chairman of the Constitutional Court who started to read the verdict.
Thus the treaty does not reduce Czech sovereignty, as warned by its opponents.
"The EU integration process is not taking place in a radical way, which would lead to a "loss" of national sovereingty, but it is am evolutionary process. Besides, it is a reaction to the growing globalization in the world to a certain extent," say the judges in their statement.
The Constitutional Court judges have scrutinized the EU pact for seven months now, as pointed out by Pavel Rychetský. However, they analyzed only those parts that the Senators found controversial. They did not study the document as a whole.
Parliament to take over
The outcome of the court session means that the Lisbon Treaty would be passed over to the Parliament to vote on its ratification. PM Mirek Topolánek, of the same party that Václav Klaus is a founder of (ODS), has said earlier it would be within the first three months of 2009. Other MPs have been trying to promote the end of this year.
The Lisbon Treaty was sent to the Constitutional Court by the Senate in March this year. Among fierce critics of the treaty and EU as such is also Czech president Václav Klaus. Tuesday´s session saw a number of senior political figures, inclduing his, reading statements upon the treaty.
The stand of MPs, represented by Deputy MP Alexandr Vondra at Tuesday`s Constitutional court session, claimed the opposite of what President Klaus had to say - the treaty would guarantee a better functioning of the European Union.
Klaus said for public service Czech TV that he is very dissapointed with the verdict, arguing that it was written a long time in advance and thus his arguments were not reflected in the verdict.
Around the globe
All eyes from around the globe were on Tuesday` s session of the Czech Constitutional Court. The international media reflected the session mainly because of President Klaus`s fierce opposition to the treaty.
The US broadsheet daily New York Times describes Václav Klaus as an "iconoclast with a perfectly clipped mustache" predicting that his "sheer will and inflammatory talk are likely to have some impact."
The Austrian daily Die Presse has recently headlined an article about Klaus "Oh God, Václav Klaus will come next," fearing he could throw Europe into disarray.