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16. 9. 2009 13:03

Press statement on the process of ratification of the Lisbon Treaty

Prague, 16 September 2009 – The Committee for the EU on the government level met today to discuss the process of ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in the EU and especially in the Czech Republic. In this regard, the Government emphasizes that it is prepared to continue to play an active role in this process in order to fulfill the joint commitment of all Member States from June European Council to complete the ratification of the Treaty by the end of this year.

The parliamentary part of ratification was completed in May 2009, when the Senate followed the  Chamber of Deputies and approved the Lisbon Treaty, again by a constitutional majority. In an effort to provide room for a long-announced petition of a group of Senators for further constitutional review of the Treaty, the President of the Czech Republic decided not to ratify the Treaty as of yet. Together with Poland, Ireland and Germany, the Czech Republic remains one of the last countries of the European Union which has so far not completed the process of ratification.

On the basis of a petition filed by the Senate, the Lisbon Treaty was the subject of a review before the Constitutional Court last year, and it was not found contrary to the constitutional order of the Czech Republic. On 1 September 2009, a group of Senators went to the Constitutional Court with another petition which does not aim at the Lisbon Treaty itself, but at the so-called "Lisbon amendment of the Rules of Procedure". This amendment strengthens the role of the Parliament in EU decision-making on certain issues. The second petition against the Lisbon Treaty has thus far not been lodged at the Constitutional Court, despite being repeatedly announced by the Senators. Both applications for review are not mutually predetermined, and therefore nothing prevents the one relating to the Lisbon Treaty from being filed without further unnecessary delays.

Although the Government considers the Constitutional Court's original judgment to be sufficient, it does not doubt the Senators' right to put the Treaty under thorough legal and political scrutiny, as it is guaranteed by the constructional order of the Czech Republic.

The Government would, nevertheless, like to point out that continuing delays to the completion of the ratification process would have a negative impact on the position of the Czech Republic within the EU. During its Presidency, the Czech Republic demonstrated that it knows how to be an active and responsible Member State. Moreover, it proved to its European partners that it is a country capable to constructively influence the direction of the whole European Union.

The Government, hence, believes that all the remaining doubts about the Lisbon Treaty's conformity with the Czech Constitution will be dispelled in a way that the process of ratification can be successfully completed. The Government is convinced that the reforms of institutions and policies, the Lisbon Treaty envisages, will lead to a more effectively functioning European Union, enabling its Member States including the Czech Republic to  better face the challenges ahead.


Contact:

Roman Prorok, government press spokesman

e-mail: prorok.roman@vlada.cz, +420 777 290 061

Marie Faturová, press spokeswoman for European affairs

e-mail:faturova.marie@vlada.cz, +420 725 845 697

Office of the Government of the Czech Republic,

Nábřeží Edvarda Beneše 4, 118 01 Praha 1 - Malá Strana

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