Commissioner Verheugen: EU has to deal with Czech president’s “footnote” to the Lisbon treaty

EU Commissioner Günther Verheugen has said that the EU will have to deal with the condition Czech President Václav Klaus set down for ratifying the Lisbon treaty. Mr Verheugen told the German radio station Deutschlandfunk on Sunday that heads of governments of EU members states will have to see if and how the condition could be met.

The Czech president announced earlier this month he would not finalize the treaty’s ratification unless the Czech Republic is granted an opt-out concerning possible property claims from ethnic Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia. However, Commissioner Verheugen said he did not believe the EU’s reform document could lead to that. Mr Verheugen, who is German, also blamed Bavaria’s Christian Social Union party for keeping the issue of the expulsion alive.

Meanwhile, the Slovak prime minister, Robert Fico, told Czech TV on Sunday that his country might push for an opt-out similar to that pursued by President Klaus. Mr Fico said his government would decide depending on whether the Czech demand is successful.

Author: Jan Richter