Key Lisbon ruling paves way for Czech ratification to begin
Supporters of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty were given cause for celebration on Wednesday morning as the Constitutional Court ruled that the treaty does not violate the Czech Constitution. This landmark ruling paves the way for the Czech parliament to begin the process of ratifying the treaty. The Czech Republic is the only EU member which has not voted on Lisbon, amid a dispute over sovereignty that has pitted the government against president Václav Klaus. But Mr Klaus isn’t giving up yet.
The ruling was welcomed by the government, with Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg describing it as good news for both the Czech Republic and the EU. But while the result may have been a blow for the treaty's opponents, president Klaus made it clear to a scrum of reporters afterwards that while Lisbon’s supporters might have won this battle, they hadn’t yet won the war.
Some supporters are now calling for a special parliamentary session to ratify Lisbon as quickly as possible, but it’s highly unlikely to happen before January 1st, when the Czech Republic takes over the revolving presidency of the European Union, a rather ironic situation for a country which will be co-ordinating EU efforts to revive the treaty. And even if the Czech parliament does ratify it, it's not clear when President Klaus will sign it. Earlier this week he indicated he might wait until Ireland has held a second referendum on Lisbon Treaty before he puts the presidential seal on a document he fiercely opposes.