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3. 11. 2009 12:35

Minister Štefan Füle Welcomes Constitutional Court Decision on Treaty of Lisbon

Prague, 3 November 2009 – The Constitutional Court today issued its long-awaited decision in proceedings on an application by a group of seventeen senators for an assessment of the Treaty of Lisbon’s compliance with the Czech constitutional order. In its ruling the Court declared that the Treaty of Lisbon, as a whole and in the individually contested articles, is not in conflict with the constitutional order.


Minister for European Affairs Štefan Füle, who attended the Constitutional Court hearing today as a representative of the government, welcomed the decision.


“The ruling that the Treaty of Lisbon is in compliance with the Czech constitutional order is a confirmation of the government’s long-term position. The Czech Republic retains full sovereignty, but hands some of its sovereign powers over to be exercised at the supranational level, without resigning itself to losing them,” said Füle.


He added that the source of legitimacy of decisions by both national and supranational institutions is, with regard to the Czech constitutional order, the people of the CzechRepublic, as anchored in the Constitution. Neither the previous treaties forming the basis of the EU nor the Treaty of Lisbon itself change anything about this principle. The Minister also appreciated the fact that in its reasoning the Constitutional Court made a statement on procedural matters concerning the option of submitting multilateral international treaties for review.


In its ruling the Constitutional Court emphasised that the start of proceedings about the compliance of internal treaties by a group of senators, group of deputies and the President has to be limited by the same deadline by which an international treaty should be ratified. The application therefore has to be submitted without undue delay - according to the Court this means within several weeks, not months, as was the case in this instance. Next time, late submission could be a reason to reject a filing. The fact that the Constitutional Court said this about the reasonableness of the deadline for the submission of an application for the review of an international treaty and the constitutional order, and emphasized the requirement of ratification without undue delay basically excluded the option of further applications for review. This agrees with its conclusion about the Treaty of Lisbon’s compliance, as a whole, with the constitutional order.  


The Constitutional Court’s decision clearly indicates that the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon can now be completed. The Minister for European Affairs, as well as the whole government, states that the final step is now up to the President of the Czech Republic.


“As the government, at a meeting of the European Council on 29 and 30 of October 2009, managed to negotiate the guarantee concerning accession to the protocol on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU set by the president of the republic as a condition for ratification, there are now no obstacles to the rapid competition of this process. I strongly hope that within the next few hours or days the president of the republic will append his signature to the Treaty of Lisbon,” said Füle.


The Constitutional Court’s decision ruled out any doubts about the Treaty of Lisbon’s compliance with the constitutional order of the CzechRepublic and therefore removed all barriers to ratification

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