Prague, April 29 (CTK) - Most Czechs (55 percent) do not want the Czech Republic to adopt the euro, according to a poll of the firm CVVM, while in 2001, 52 percent of people would have welcomed the euro.
Now only 38 percent would be glad if the Czech Republic adopted he euro.
Between 2001 and 2010, euro preferences gradually overturned and in 2007, the euro’s opponents for the first time prevailed moderately over its advocates.
“In the latest poll, the difference has gained in importance, reaching 12 percent,” CVVM poll says.
Still last year, 47 percent of people were against the euro and 44 for the single European currency.
Among the euro’s main opponents are the voters of the Social Democrats (CSSD), Communists (KSCM), the elderly, people with apprentice training and people with low standard of living.
The euro’s advocates are people voting for the Civic Democrats (ODS), people with university education, people aged less than 30 and people with good standard of living, shows the poll.
In an interview in the US with NRO TV, Czech President Vaclav Klaus said: “I met recently an ambassador of an important EU country I will not name. [He said] In our country it would not be possible to organise a referendum. It would be clear that a majority of people would kill the treaty.”
Brno - The EU reform Lisbon treaty is in compliance with the Czech constitutional order and its ratification can be completed, the Constitutional Court (US) ruled today.
The senators now plan to challenge the US proceedings on the Lisbon treaty.
The complainants’ representative, senator Jiri Oberfalzer (ODS), announced previously that they might turn to European courts.
More in Česke Noviny.
Statement by Anthony Coughlan, Director
The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, Dublin
Sunday 1 November 2009
Czech and Irish opposition to ratifying the Lisbon Treaty has been dealt with by different political promises that are supposed to be embodied in the next EU Accession Treaty.
This can be seen from the text of Friday’s October European Council Conclusions, as compared with those of June last, which prepared the way for the Ireland’s second Lisbon Treaty referendum. Relevant excerpts are given below.
The Czechs have been promised an opt-out from Lisbon’s Charter of Fundamental Rights at some future date, even after the Charter has become legally binding on them as a result of Lisbon coming into force. A Draft Protocol that could - or might - do this when the time comes is annexed to last Friday’s European Council Conclusions.
Last June the Irish were given interpretative declarations on concerns such as tax, abortion and neutrality and were promised that these would be embodied in a future Accession Treaty Protocol. In contrast to the promise to the Czechs, no draft of such a Protocol was agreed, but the European Council Conclusions stated that it “will clarify but not change either the content or the application of the Treaty of Lisbon” (See text below).
So the Czechs have been promised a real change in the Lisbon Treaty at some future date, and an actual draft of such a Protocol has been drawn up to keep them happy while President Vaclav Klaus permits the ratification of Lisbon. The Irish have been promised a draft Protocol to meet their concerns in some future EU Accession Treaty, but the promise has been accompanied by a statement that this Protocol will not change anything in Lisbon.
Will these promises be fulfilled?
There is no problem with the Irish. Their promised future Protocol will be redundant anyway, for it will not change anything which is already contained in Lisbon. This qualification was explicitly made when this future Protocol was first mooted.
The promise to the Czechs is more problematic, for the following reasons:
When the next EU Accession Treaty comes around the Czech Government then in office may no longer wish for a full opt-out from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, either because it takes a different view of it from the present Czech Government or because of domestic opposition at the time to such a step, in particular from the Czech trade unions.
The main Hungarian Opposition party, Fidesz, which is expected to win next year’s elections in Hungary, has stated that it will vote against ratification of the EU’s pledge to give the Czechs an opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights because of its concern over Hungarian property claims arising from the post-World War 2 Benes decrees; and any such opt-out would have to be unanimously agreed by all Member States when they come to ratify the future Accession Treaty to which it was attached.
Czechs, Germans, Hungarians etc. will all become citizens of the constitutionally new European Union which would be established by the Lisbon Treaty once that Treaty comes into force. In implementing Union law at national level thereafter the Member States will have to recognise the EU citizenship of their national citizens and the rights and entitlements as EU citizens which their national citizens will acquire under the Charter. It would be open to all EU citizens - Germans, Hungarians, Czechs or whatever - to institute legal actions and claims under the Charter of Fundamental Rights immediately the Lisbon Treaty comes into force, including property claims arising from the Benes decrees - and to expect that such actions would be justiciable in national courts as actions of EU citizens. If legal actions over such claims are already instituted under the Charter, it is hard to see EU Governments whose nationals are involved in such legal actions agreeing to ratify an Accession Treaty one of whose purposes would be to make such actions invalid or ultra vires.
The Heads of State or Government who will be in office when the next EU Accession Treaty comes up for ratification will be different from the present group. There is no guarantee that they will all feel similarly bound by the political commitment regarding the Czechs given by their predecessors the other day, not least because the legal status of the European Council itself will be changed by the Lisbon Treaty. For Lisbon proposes to make the European Council into an EU institution for the first time, whose actions and failures to act would thereafter be subject to review by the Court of Justice. It is arguable therefore whether the present European Council can bind a future one based on a different legal constitution in the way that is proposed in last Friday’s EU “summit” Conclusions.
October 2009 European Council Conclusions … Excerpts re the Czech Republic
2 ) The European Council recalls that the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon requires ratification by each of the 27 Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements. It reaffirms its determination to see the Treaty enter into force by the end of 2009, thus allowing it to develop its effects in the future.
On this basis, and taking into account the position taken by the Czech Republic, the Heads of State or Government have agreed that they shall, at the time of the conclusion of the next Accession Treaty and in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements, attach the Protocol (in Annex 1) to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
In this context, and with regard to legal application of the Treaty of Lisbon and its relation to legal systems of Member States, the European Council confirms that:
a) The Treaty of Lisbon provides that “competences not conferred upon the Union in the Treaties remain with the Member States” (Art.5(2)TEU);
b) The Charter is “addressed to the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity and to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law” (Art 51(1) (Charter)
PROTOCOL ON THE APPLICATION OF THE CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION TO THE CZECH REPUBLIC
The Heads of State or Government of the 27 Member States of the European Union, taking note of the wish expressed by the Czech Republic,
Having regard to the Conclusions of the European Council,
Have agreed on the following Protocol:
Protocol No 3o on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to Poland and to the United Kingdom shall apply to the Czech Republic.
The Title, Preamble and operative part of Protocol No 30 shall be modified in order to refer to the Czech Republic in the same terms as they refer to Poland and to the United Kingdom.
This Protocol shall be annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
June 2009 European Council Conclusions … Excerpts re Ireland
The European Council also agreed that other concerns of the Irish people, as presented by the Taoiseach, relating to taxation policy, the right to life, education and the family, and Ireland’s traditional policy of military neutrality, would be addressed to the mutual satisfaction of Ireland and the other Member States, by way of the necessary legal guarantees. It was also agreed that the high importance attached to a number of social issues, including workers’ rights, would be confirmed.
4 ) Against this background, the European Council has agreed on the following set of arrangements, which are fully compatible with the Treaty, in order to provide reassurance and to respond to the concerns of the Irish people:
(a) Decision of the Heads of State or Government of the 27 Member States of the European Union, meeting within the European Council, on the concerns of the Irish people on the Treaty of Lisbon (Annex 1); (b) Solemn Declaration on Workers’ Rights, Social Policy and other issues (Annex 2).
The European Council has also taken cognisance of the unilateral declaration of Ireland (Annex 3), which will be associated with the Irish instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon.
5 ) Regarding the Decision in Annex 1, the Heads of State or Government have declared that:
(i) this Decision gives legal guarantee that certain matters of concern to the Irish people will be unaffected by the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon;
(ii) its content is fully compatible with the Treaty of Lisbon and will not necessitate any re-ratification of that Treaty;
(iii) the Decision is legally binding and will take effect on the date of entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon;
(iv) they will, at the time of the conclusion of the next accession Treaty, set out the provisions of the annexed Decision in a Protocol to be attached, in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements, to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;
(v) the Protocol will in no way alter the relationship between the EU and its Member States. The sole purpose of the Protocol will be to give full Treaty status to the clarifications set out in the Decision to meet the concerns of the Irish people. Its status will be no different from similar clarifications in Protocols obtained by other Member States. The Protocol will clarify but not change either the content or the application of the Treaty of Lisbon.
thanks so much for wanting to participate to the protest action tomorrow morning in Brussels, whereby we will urge Czech President Klaus not to give in to the pressure of EU leaders to sign the Lisbon Treaty.
Let’s meet on Friday morning at 10am at Rondpoint Schuman.
EXACT LOCATION: Near the European Council building: Rue de la Loi, between the Schuman Roundabout and the entrance to the Parc du Cinquantenaire.
Of course feel free to bring along as many friends as you can!
See you then, all the best,
Pieter Cleppe +32 477 68 46 08
Addition: Report from Ceské Noviny
Václav Klaus, the Czech President, who is the last hurdle to full ratification of the Lisbon treaty, has made a final attempt to derail the agreement.
In a submission to the Czech constitutional court, which will decide tomorrow whether the treaty is compatible with the country’s constitution, Mr Klaus has suggested that it should be subject to a referendum.
The President, who is the only head of state yet to sign the treaty, attacked the EU notion of “shared sovereignty” as a contradiction that effectively means a loss of national control.
President Klaus made his written statement in support of a case against the treaty brought by 17 Czech senators, who have asked judges to rule that the agreement is unconstitutional because it transfers powers to Brussels. He also asked for a ruling on whether the treaty changed the terms of the Czech Republic’s accession to the EU in 2004 so significantly that a new referendum should be ordered.
more in Times Online
Slovakia may also seek an opt-out from part of the Lisbon Treaty if the Czech Republic gets an exemption designed to prevent ethnic Germans expelled after World War II from claiming back their property.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico explained the decision on Czech national TV on Sunday (18 October).
“We will not leave Slovakia in a situation of uncertainty if we feel that one of the seceding countries of former Czechoslovakia has negotiated an exception,” he said. “For us the Benes Decrees are such an important part of the rule of law, that we cannot allow for Slovakia to be left in any kind of legal uncertainty.”
Meanwhile President Klaus shows first signs of fatigue:
“The train has already travelled so fast and so far that I guess it will not be possible to stop it or turn it around, however much we would wish to,” Mr Klaus said, referring to the Lisbon Treaty’s entry into life.
Czech people will not surrender easily. On 27th and 28th of October demonstrations will take place in Prague. Citizens Initative D.O.S.T. will be among the organizers.
Hands off from the Czech President
German human rights activist condemns diplomatical and pseudo-journalist excesses
(Presseerklärung vom 15.10.2008)
On October, the 11th of 2009, the British Sunday Times has exposed, that the German and French diplomats have intervened towards the Czech government, in order to reach either the start of an impeachment procedure against the Czech President Vaclav Klaus, or a change of Czech Constitution in order to to take away his veto right against laws consenting to international treaties like the Lisbon Treaty.
According to the Sunday Times, however, under the Czech constitution a president can be impeached only if he commits high treason against the country’s independence or its territorial integrity and democratic order.
Sarah Luzia Hassel-Reusing, a German human rights activist, who had filed a de-facto in large parts successful constitutional complaint (file number 2 BvR 1958/08), against the German law consenting to the Lisbon Treaty, comments:
“The Czech President is doing exactly the opposite of what would allow an impeachment procedure. With the refusal to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, he preserves the independence of Czechya, because art. 2 of prot. 26 on services of general interest would oblige Czechya, to commission nearly all sovereign tasks to private corporations. With the Lisbon Treaty, europe-wide acting private corporations would subjugate the administration, most of the courts, the drafting of laws, and with erosion mechanism of art. 18 TFEU, even the national security (military, secret service, production of passports and banknotes) and law and order (police, jails). With this fast erosion mechanism, the organs especially of the small and medium-sized member states would be degraded to a façade. They would loose the control over the state, most of which would be run be private firms with private profit and power interests. Like the German company Arvato, which is already running the district administration at East Riding (Yorkshire, Great Britain), and which is interested to run much more municipal administrations all over Europe - possibly also at Prague. Behind Arvato stands the media giant Bertelsmann, which can strongly influence the public opinion. And the Bertelsmann Foundation is counselling countless politicians in Germany and Europe. Strangely enough, the above-mentioned diplomats are lobbying for their own privatization, possibly without knowing this.
The functional privatization of all EU member states, which the Lisbon Treaty would prescribe, would a change of the type of state toward the ‘Gewährleistungsstaat’ (guaranteeing state) - a mass experiment, the consent to which could only be achieved by giving massively incomplete information to the parliamentarians - a case of error or fraud (art. 48 resp. art. 49 Vienna Treaty Law Convention). Most of the theory the ‘Gewährleistungsstaat’ comes from German jurists and has found support, i. a., by the EU Commission, and by interested corporations.”
On the 10.10.2009, an even worse incident has happened at Prague. Mrs. Christina Janssen, a journalist, who is working at the Prague studio of the public German radio ARD, has published a comment on the Czech President.
In her comment, she has explicitly warned, that he should not lean too far through the window, because he might fall. She has mentioned three historical defenestrations in the history of Czechya, one of which had caused the Thirty Years’ War. She has warned: “Was die Tschechen daraus lernen könnten, wäre vielleicht, die Fenster lieber geschlossen zu halten.” (“What the Czechs possibly could learn from it, might be to keep the windows closed.”)
Her comment ends with the words: “Die Fenster stehen offen - und Klaus lehnt sich weit hinaus. Aber es müsste ja nicht gleich wieder ein Fenstersturz werden: Er könnte einfach zurücktreten.” (“The windows are open - and Klaus leans out far. But it does not have to become another defenestration: He could simply resign.”)
A clear threat, that the President of Czech Republic might be defenestrated - illustrated in violent fantasies of a German journalist.
The civic and human rights activist Sarah Luzia Hassel-Reusing comments:
“Mrs. Janssen acts in this way, because President Vaclav Klaus refuses to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. She uses many expressions, which might be regarded as a disparagement of the Czech President. If someone in Germany disparages the German President, the result can be a jail sentence between three months and five years (§90 of the German criminal code), if the German the German President agrees to the criminal prosecution. She has called the Czech President a ‘populist’, a ‘nationalist’, and an ‘egomaniac’. She regards him as “angezählt” (as having been given the count). She supposes, that the Czech President is leading a war in his mind against the EU and the EU Reform Treaty. She states, that Czechya is regarded as the ‘Tollhaus Europas’ (madhouse of Europe), just because the President refuses to sign the Lisbon Treaty.
The text of Mrs. Janssen contains many violations of the human dignity (art. 1 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR). This is especially grave, because it is directed against an elected President of a sovereign state, so that it might also touch the dignity of the Czech people, and shows a large amount of disrespect to the human right to vote (art. 25 UN Civil Pact).
Further, Mrs. Janssen’s text disregards the human right of the Czech people to self-determination (art. 1 UN Civil Pact, art. 1 UN Social Pact), because he has been elected into office, and she belongs to the German people, not to the Czech people.
The violent words in Mrs. Janssen’s text show a grave lack of consciousness with regard to the human right to safety (art. 9 par. 1 UN Civil Pact).
The freedom of speech certainly contains the right to tell one’s opinion about Presidents of other states, but it has limits, where the human rights and the reputation of other persons are at stake (ar. 19 par. 3 lit. a UN Civil Pact).
The aggressive formulations in Mrs. Janssen’s text look rather like intelligence service - like than news media - like. The ARD should, with respect to the international understanding (art. 9 par. 2 Basic Law (German constitution)), consider dismissing Mr. Janssen soon and should consider an excuse towards the President of Czechya.”
The human rights activist concludes with a further legal consideration: “I do not see a sound legal basis for the above-mentioned interventions of German diplomats and of a German journalist. Czechya is a sovereign state (art. 2 par. 1 UN Charter). The German Constitutional Court has, in the first Lisbon judgement prohibited the supra-nationalization (no. 255 + 342 of the judgement) of the common foreign and safety policy of the EU, so that the rank of the CSFP stays below the national constitutions of the member states and below the UN Charter. So also the CSFP can contain no sufficient legal basis to overrule sovereignty of a state.”
Sarah Luzia Hassel-Reusing
Thorner Str. 7, 42283 Wuppertal (Germany)
human rights activist under the protection of UN resolution 53/144
The President of the Czech Republic has no intention of signing the Lisbon treaty, a move that might allow David Cameron time to hold a British referendum on Europe.
President Klaus, the fiercely Eurosceptic Czech leader, is the last obstacle for the agreement after its ratification in the other 26 EU states but he has told supporters that he will never sign, The Times has learnt.
Asked during a walkabout on Sunday not to put his name to the treaty, Mr Klaus replied: “Don’t worry, I won’t.”
more in The Times online article
Polish President Lech Kaczynski at noon on Saturday (10 October) signed the Lisbon Treaty at a ceremony in Warsaw.
After making the EU wait for 557 days since the Polish parliament passed the treaty and in full view of foreign VIPs and TV cameras, Mr Kaczynski’s first pen failed to write, forcing him to ask for a new one.
60 Polish MPs have signed a petition to send the treaty to the Polish Constitutional Tribunal to see if it is compatible with national law.
The Czech president Vaclav Klaus voiced anger that Sweden’s Mr Reinfeldt forced him to unveil his Lisbon challenge earlier than he wanted, by revealing the contents of their phone conversation on Thursday to journalists.
Klaus Won’t Sign the Lisbon Treaty
The Czech president will hold out until the Tories bury the EU’s power grab.
The Irish may have said Yes to the Lisbon Treaty, but the bureaucrats in Brussels have not yet won. If anything, the shameful browbeating of the Irish electorate into reversing its previous rejection of the Treaty will steel the resolve of those who oppose additional centralization of power in Brussels. Czech President Vaclav Klaus has so far refused to sign off on the Treaty that the Czech parliament has already adopted. The president is officially waiting for a decision from the highest Czech court on the treaty’s constitutionality.
And much more in the WSJ article by Mr. Marian L. Tupy from the Cato Institute.
It seems that we are running out of time:
“Vaclav Klaus signalled that he would pass the treaty once it had been reassessed by the Czech Constitutional Court, a process which could take some weeks but is unlikely to last until May or June, when Mr Cameron hopes to take power and then hold a referendum.”
But let us still try and make a difference!
Intermezzo by a Czech member of the fb group Jiří Cerman:
“Václav Klaus´ words have been (purposely) misunderstood!!!!!
I live in CZ and I heard EXACTLY what did he say.
Mr. Klaus did not say, it was too late! He just said, that the British people should had acted sooner - that they should not just wait for his decision! He DID NOT SIGNAL anything!!!!!”
Here is link to the “Strana svobodných občanů” (Party of free citizens) from Czech Republic who have twice last month shown a great support for Ireland’s NO and for Czech President Klaus.
President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic might be the last hope for opponents to the Lisbon Treaty —- As a Czech and also a British subject, I call on President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic, in view of Ireland’s second and confused referendum, to remain steadfast in his long-standing effort to reject the Lisbon Treaty.
He is no doubt aware that the overwhelming majority of people of the United Kingdom oppose the treaty, but have no hope of getting the chance to vote, promised to them by their own government.
Never mind that European Union money is being used for propaganda to secure the right answer from a minority of apprehensive Irish voters in a referendum on the treaty.
Never mind that the unelected and unaccountable EU government cannot be dismissed, or that the European Parliament is a pretence of democracy.
What I am concerned about is the officially promoted lie that we are all subjected to by the new European imperium. We are told that there is a European idea, rather than a civilisation, and that this idea requires a unitary state.
We are told that there is a European nation, or, if not, that it needs to be created. We are told that the EU government of appointed clerks, in its expensive effort to regulate social and economic life in Europe, seeks to promote peace and prosperity.
The opposite is true. The more the politicians try to impose a common straitjacket on nation-states, the more discord they will create.
Politics is the art of measured compromise between the varied interests of free and loyal subjects. If our governments delegate their powers to unelected delegates, who will control the delegates of the delegates?
President Klaus will be called an extremist; he will be mocked and threatened. He is now alone, as Alexander Solzhenitsyn was when he published his manifesto Live Not by Lies. But like Solzhenitsyn, Václav Klaus will be supported by the millions of people who have not spoken yet.
Prague, Czech Republic
Vyšlo dne 5.9.2009 v The Daily Telegraph
Join the Facebook group and spread the information. Demand democracy!
Also SIGN THE PETITION!
The Lisbon treaty is an undemocratic constitution that makes every nation state in Europe a province in EU.
With Lisbon we give up or sovereignty and independence, that Europeans fought so hard for.
When Ireland was forced to vote again (until they vote the way the EU elite wants) it came out with a yes vote. The only thing that now stands in the way of the Lisbon treaty is one man; the Czech president Vaclav Klaus. He has so far shown an admirable courage and conviction in refusing to sign this treaty and after Ireland’s “yes”-vote the pressure will increase even more on him.
Therefore we should show Mr. Klaus our full support by letting him know that we are behind him and that we hope that he will refuse to sign this treaty. If he holds out until the Conservatives in England win the next election and they hold a referendum on Lisbon (which Cameron said they will), the Lisbon treaty will fall once and for all, since the English people will most likely vote no.
Therefore we must encourage and show Vaclav Klaus that millions and millions of Europeans do not want this treaty and that we put our hope that Vaclav Klaus does not sign this treaty!
Call his office, send letters and emails! Do it TODAY! There is no time to wait!
When he sees what support he has, it will be easier for him to endure!
Send emails to these adresses:
email@example.com (Chancellor of the Office of the President)
firstname.lastname@example.org (press department)
email@example.com (electronic registry)
Here you will find contact information for Vaclav Klaus
So, in short:
1) Write and email/letter
2) Send that letter/email to Vaclav’s office
3) Post about it on fb froup wall!
Besides fb group now there’s also a web-page you can use:
No referendum to be held in EU after Irish yes to Lisbon
Prague - Czech President Vaclav Klaus today criticised the fact that the Irish had voted on the Lisbon treaty repeatedly and he said no referendum would be held in the EU after their yes.
“No referendum will be in the EU now,” Klaus told his supporters outside the Prague Castle, the presidential seat, today in reaction to the Irish approval of the treaty, which he refuses to sign.
Klaus told reporters later that the result of the Irish referendum was a fact that he would no longer comment but he would respect it.
“There is nothing to add to it,” he said.
Asked whether he will complete the ratification process by his signature, Klaus pointed out that the ratification process must not continue until the Constitutional Court’s decision whether the treaty is in compliance with the constitutional order.
The court is to examine the treaty on the basis of another complaint lodged by a group of senators, mainly from the Civic Democrats (ODS), this week.
The Czech Republic may be the last EU member state not to have completed the ratification.
Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who has not signed the treaty either, promised to do so immediately after the Irish “yes.”
Klaus today refused to say whether and when he would sign the treaty.
Participants in today’s march to Prague Castle to thank President Vaclav Klaus for his opposition to the Lisbon treaty carried Irish flags and banners reading “No to Lisbon.”
Klaus told them he “is in harmony” with their opinions.
The Irish approved the Lisbon treaty in a repeated referendum held on Friday after they rejected the document last June.
Klaus expressed the opinion that the referendum in Ireland would have been repeated if voters had said “no” to Lisbon so long until they said yes.
He compared a repeated referendum to a repeated football match.
Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer believes that the Lisbon treaty will be ratified in the Czech Republic soon so that it could come into force by the end of 2009, he said in a statement released by the Government Office today.
Still, for Klaus Lisbon Treaty is ‘not on the cards’.
London/Prague - British Conservative Party leader David Cameron has sent a letter to Czech President Vaclav Klaus assuring him that the Conservatives would call a referendum on the Lisbon treaty after their expected election victory if Klaus delayed its signing on behalf of Prague, Daily Mail writes today.
The British daily published the information about the letter on its website today, referring to sources from the Conservative Party.
The Conservatives´ spokesman confirmed the information, saying the letter “was sent some weeks ago.”
“We have urged no course of action on President Klaus. David Cameron set out our position on the Lisbon Treaty very clearly and firmly, as he has always done. As the treaty is not yet ratified in all member States it is right that European leaders should know what a Conservative government would do in the current situation,” the spokesman told CTK.
Klaus, now attending the U.N. General Assembly session in New York, told Czech Television that he received Cameron´s letter as a purely private, three-page handwritten letter that confirms the British Conservatives´ position.
Klaus said he does not think the letter has influenced his decisions concerning the Lisbon treaty´s ratification.
Czech senators opposed to the EU’s Lisbon Treaty could delay adoption of it for months, a Czech constitutional court spokesman has told the BBC.
At least 17 Eurosceptic Czech senators have signed a petition against the treaty, which they plan to submit to the court at the end of September.
The spokesman, Vlastimil Gottinger, told the BBC that a full treaty review might take as much as nine months.
“But I would guess three or four months - it depends on the petition,” he said.
A further threat to Lisbon would emerge if it is not ratified in time for the UK general election, expected next April or May, which the British Conservatives are favourites to win. They have pledged to put Lisbon to a UK referendum if it is not yet in force.
The Eurosceptic Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, has been quoted as saying he will not sign the treaty until the constitutional court has considered the senators’ petition. His signature is necessary to complete Czech ratification.
The treaty - aimed at streamlining EU decision-making - cannot enter into force until all 27 EU member states have ratified it. Nearly all of them have done so.
This and more from the BBC.
Czech Senators file court challenge over Lisbon Treaty
Seventeen Czech Senators have filed a complaint against a ‘special mandate’ related to the Czech Republic’s ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. The special mandate requires the parliament’s approval for any future transfer of powers to the EU, but the Senators argue that this is not sufficient and a constitutional majority should be required for such a transfer. The Senators also plan to ask the Constitutional Court to reassess the Lisbon Treaty for its impact on the EU’s institutions.
Did we say Samurai? Ok, they are Senators, but Samurai is definitely more catchy :) and it evokes memories from cinema-history (a scene from Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa):
People of Ireland ought to go to the polling-stations on October 2nd with awareness that they represent not just themselves but each of their vote represents voices of 100 Europeans who didn’t have the right to decide on the Lisbon Treaty!
Die Linke, who claim that the agreement does “not even nearly” match the requirements set out by the Constitutional Court, yesterday repeatedly threatened to make a constitutional complaint. (says Die Welt)
Meanwhile, Czech daily Ceskenoviny reports that a group of Senators from the ODS party will file a complaint against the Lisbon Treaty with the Constitutional Court only after lodging a complaint against the law on a EU-related ‘special mandate’. The special mandate prevents the Czech government from approving transfer of powers to the EU without the parliament’s agreement. Senator Jiri Oberfalzer said that the law needs to change so that Constitutional Judges can control whether individual steps taken by EU bodies are in accordance with the Czech Constitution.
REUC = Renamed EU Constitution
thanks to Open Europe
Sun: German Court decision on Lisbon Treaty rejects EP as a democratic body
The Sun reports that German Constitutional Court judges called the Lisbon Treaty an “illegal power grab”, in their judgement last week, as the Treaty takes away sovereignty from nation states in a number of areas, such as the right to set laws on defence, taxes, the police and education. The Treaty cannot be ratified in Germany until a new law guaranteeing the rights of the German parliament in the EU-decision making process has been approved by the parliament. Open Europe is quoted as saying: “British MPs need to wake up — and demand the same powers.”
A [eader in the Sun writes that the German court decision “even rejects the EU Parliament as a democratic body - pointing out that it does not even have a proper Opposition. This must surely put paid forever to the grandiose dream of a European superstate?”
Meanwhile Czech daily, the Prague Monitor reports that some Czech Senators have indicated that they might lodge a complaint over the Treaty with the Czech Constitutional Court in the first half of August.
Czech social democrat party considers suspending President Vaclav Klaus’ powers over refusal to sign Lisbon Treaty
EU Observer reports that the Czech social democrat party is considering suspending President Vaclav Klaus’ powers if he refuses to sign the Lisbon Treaty. The article notes “temporary suspension would require a simple majority of 41 votes in the country’s 81-seat senate and would allow caretaker Prime Minister Jan Fischer to sign the document instead”. The Lisbon Treaty has been ratified by the Czech Parliament and Senate but its compatibility with the Czech Constitution is currently being analysed by the Czech Constitutional Court with a decision expected in September.
Klaus has vowed to be the last to sign the Treaty and will wait until Germany, Poland and Ireland have ratified it in the hope that the Conservatives may be elected in the UK by then. Former Constitutional Court judge Vojtech Cepl said “There is nothing in the constitution that gives the president the right to veto decisions of the country’s highest institutions.” However, senate press spokesman, Petr Kostka said “The probability is very low. It’s the opinion of just a few senators and not of the whole chamber. The president of the senate, Mr Premysl Sobotka [an ODS party member], has said he doesn’t agree with the suspension.”
source: EU Observer
Meanwhile Adrian Michaels in the Telegraph writes, “If democracy is about listening to the people, then Iran isn’t the only place where things have got a bit strained. A year ago, 53 per cent of Irish voters declined to ratify the substantial increase of the European Union’s powers and reach enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty. Yet in early October, the country will be holding another referendum, in which the people will be given a chance to come up with a better answer.”
The fate of the EU’s Lisbon treaty had been thrown into question once again on Thursday after Vaclav Klaus, the Czech president, threatened not to approve special legal provisions for Ireland.
Mr Klaus said the Czech parliament must ratify the guarantees on national sovereignty that Ireland wants in order to hold a referendum on the treaty, or he would not give them the green light.
The Irish guarantees, covering taxation, military neutrality and right-to-life policies, were the first order of business for the EU’s 27 national leaders as they gathered in Brussels for a two-day summit.
The Lisbon treaty, which would create the EU’s first full-time president, streamline the bloc’s decision-making procedures and give more powers to the European parliament, is the culmination of almost a decade of efforts to modernise the EU’s institutions.
Irish voters rejected the treaty in a referendum a year ago, and Mr Klaus and Lech Kaczynski, the Polish president, have refused to sign the document even though their parliaments have approved it.
Mr Klaus’s latest move indicates that he may try to find an excuse not to sign the treaty, even if Irish voters back Lisbon in a second referendum expected in October. Opinion polls in Ireland suggest that popular opposition to the treaty has fallen sharply since the Irish economy’s descent into crisis.
Apart from legal guarantees of sovereignty, Ireland will secure a declaration on the protection of workers’ right and has been promised it can keep a seat on the European Commission.
Mr Klaus contended that the guarantees altered the treaty in such a way that they would require separate ratification by the Czech parliament under the nation’s constitution.
His argument was contested by Jan Fischer, the Czech prime minister. However, Mr Fischer is a non-party, interim premier who, in contrast to Mr Klaus, is unlikely to remain in office after elections in October.
The worst fear of EU leaders is that Mr Klaus delays signing the treaty for so long that a strongly Eurosceptic Conservative party replaces the UK’s Labour government and holds a referendum on Lisbon, resulting in a No vote that would kill it for ever.
…whole article in the FT
The Czech Senate has approved the Lisbon Treaty by 54 of 79 senators present in the upper house of parliament in Prague today. It now goes to Czech president Vaclav Klaus who said on February 19th he was “not ready to answer” whether he will give his final approval.
Czech MP Alena Paralova announced to journalists today that she was leaving the Czech Civic Democratic Party (ODS) in reaction to the Czech Senate’s passage of the EU reform Lisbon treaty today.
Former MEP Patricia McKenna has confirmed she is to quit the Green Party and run in the forthcoming European elections as an Independent candidate.
Ms McKenna said she took the decision to leave the party because of its performance in government.
In an interview with Hot Press magazine, to be published tomorrow, she brands her Green Party colleagues in the Dáil as “nothing but hypocrites”.
La Croix quotes Daniel Cohn Bendit, German Green MEP, saying that Klaus is “like the German President: his personal judgement doesn’t count”. Cohn-Bendit is also quoted saying that the ratification of the Treaty in the Czech Republic “depends on the bank account of the Czech President and on the number of senators’ votes he has bought”.
The article notes that a senior source in France’s UMP Party has said that Klaus “may delay his signature until the British elections next year”, because the Conservatives have promised a referendum on the Treaty should they come to power.
The Czech Republic President said the EU was undemocratic, elitist and reminiscent of Soviet-era Communist dictatorships in an attack which provoked an angry response from EU legislators.
Vaclav Klaus, who holds the rotating EU presidency, also won applause from nationalists and other anti-EU legislators during his first address to the EU chamber. Mr Klaus is known for his deep scepticism of the EU and has refused to fly its flag over his official seat in Prague during the Czech presidency, saying the country is not an EU province.
He told the chamber that EU practices smacked of communist times when the Soviet Union controlled much of eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic, and when dissent or even discussions were not tolerated.
“Not so long ago, in our part of Europe we lived in a political system that permitted no alternatives and therefore also no parliamentary opposition,” he said. “We learned the bitter lesson that with no opposition, there is no freedom.”
From The Independent.