Czech Senate gives green light to Lisbon Treaty

6. 5. 2009 16:13
Lawmakers have endorsed the project to reform the EU but President Klaus thinks the Treaty is "dead"
PM Topolánek addressing the senators
PM Topolánek addressing the senators | Foto: Ludvík Hradilek

Prague - The Czech Senate approved the Lisbon Treaty on Wednesday afternoon, thus endorsing the plan to streamline decision-making in the European Union.

Of 79 lawmakers 54 voted for the Lisbon blueprint.

A six-hour debate preceded the vote, in which outgoing PM MIrek Topolánek (Civic Democrats-ODS) pleaded with the senators to approve the Treaty.

"We have to avoid facing another shameful moment after the shameful cabinet's fall mid-way through the EU presidency," Topolánek told the upper house of the Czech parliament in one of his last speeches before he steps down on Friday, May 8.

Topolánek has said a number of times before that the failure to ratify the Treaty would leave the Czech Republic open to bigger influence of Russia.

The lower house of the Czech parliament approved the Lisbon Treaty in February this year.

Anti-Treaty action

At the upper house 's request, the Czech Constitutional Court scrutinized the Treaty whether it is in line with the Czech constitution. It ruled that the document does not infringe the constitution.

In a televised speech Klaus said the Lisbon Treaty is dead.

"For the moment the Lisbon Treaty is dead because it was rejected by one of the EU member states in a referendum."

Klaus also expressed his hope that some of the senators that promised to file the Treaty with the Constitutional Court will do so. He will not sign the Treaty into a law for the moment before the Court rules on the document. Head of the Constitutioal Court said it may take 4-5 months. 


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