Nečas: Croatian EU accession and Lisbon opt-out will be voted on together

Prime Minister Petr Nečas is sticking to a plan to tie parliamentary approval of Croatia’s accession to the EU to the Czech exemption to the Lisbon treaty. The prime minister on Monday told members of Parliament’s EU affairs committee that he wants to introduce the two bills as a single contractual document and a single vote in both houses. President Václav Klaus demanded the exemption from the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights before signing the treaty in 2009. Opposition Social Democrats, which are opposed to the opt-out, have warned the government risks complicating Croatia’s accession if it connects the votes, as they will vote against it in the Senate. Croatia is expected to sign the agreement with the EU in the second half of this year and become the 28th member state on July 1, 2013.