Czech PM meets Barroso with over Commission post, Lisbon treaty

Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer met with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso on Tuesday afternoon. The talks were supposed to focus on the choice and responsibilities of the next Czech EU Commissioner. But they were overshadowed by President Václav Klaus’ last minute objections to the EU’s Lisbon treaty. President Klaus has demanded a firm guarantee that the treaty’s Charter of Fundamental Rights could not be used by Germans expelled from former Czechoslovakia after WWII to reclaim property. Mr Barroso warned that Czech interests would not be served by further delaying ratification of the treaty if its constitutional court had no problems with it.

The Czech government on Monday agreed to present President Klaus’ demands at a summit of EU leaders at the end of the month, but only as long as these are his last demands. The Lisbon treaty should take effect at the start of 2010 but first has to be ratified by all 27 EU states. The Czech Republic is the last in line.

Author: Chris Johnstone