PM: Lisbon could come into effect in late 2009
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek has said that the EU’s Lisbon treaty could come into effect in late 2009. The prime minister made the statement in Brussels on Thursday evening at the close of the first day of the EU summit. At the meeting, EU leaders agreed that member states will continue to have their own commissioner – provided the treaty is approved. As it stands, the ratification process remains stalled in both Poland and Germany, while the Czech Republic has yet to vote on the document in Parliament. The Czechs are expected to do so in the first months of 2009, after they take up the EU presidency.
Meanwhile, on Friday, EU leaders agreed to provide a number of guarantees for Ireland to pave the way for that country to hold a new referendum on the Lisbon treaty in 2009; the document was rejected by voters there earlier this year.