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Czech Republic: Senate Ratifies the Lisbon Treaty

(May 12, 2009) On May 6, 2009, the Czech Senate, following ratification by the lower house in February 2009, ratified the Lisbon Treaty, with 54 of the 79 senators voting in favor. Pursuant to the Constitution of the Czech Republic, the ratification becomes complete upon the signing of the treaty by the Czech President, Vaclav Klaus. He is considered to be a “eurosceptic” and has threatened not to sign the treaty, despite ratification by the Parliament. (Czech Senate Approves EU's Lisbon Treaty, EU OBSERVER, May 6, 2009, available at

The Treaty of Lisbon Amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty Establishing the European Community was signed on December 13, 2007, by the heads of state or government of the 27 Member States, with the aim of providing the European Union with modern institutions and optimal working methods. (Treaty of Lisbon, Europa website, (last visited May 8, 2009).)

The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, expressed his satisfaction with the results of the Czech Senate's vote and his hope that the remaining “constitutional requirements” would be completed soon. (Id.)

The Lisbon Treaty must be ratified by the 27 EU Members before it enters into force. Ireland, after an earlier “no” vote in a referendum held in the summer of 2008, is scheduled for a second balloting this fall. Germany and Poland must also complete ratification by having their respective presidents sign the treaty. The President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, has announced that he will proceed only after the Irish second referendum, while the German President, Horst Koehler, is waiting for a decision by the German Constitutional Court on the question of whether the Lisbon Treaty violates the country's basic law. (Id.)