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Clarifications in Prague

2009/10/08

will soon be leaving Prague after a series of meetings with Prime Minister Jan Fischer, the Speaker of the Senate and the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. The aim of this visit has been to get a better assessment of the timetable and the possible scenarios as regards ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

It is important that we pay full respect to the legal and constitutional process in the Czech Republic. However, it is also important for the Presidency to be able to plan for the institutional decisions to be made during the autumn, and to assess when the Treaty can enter into force.

The various meeting today resulted in some clarifications:

– firstly, that the government and the two chambers of the Parliament cooperate in order to speed up the process. They will promptly submit their responses to the Constitutional Court. The Court has also chosen a specific fast-track process.

– secondly, that the Senators who have submitted the appeal will not continue the process if the Court finds that that Treaty is in compliance with the Czech constitution.

– thirdly: everyone believes that the President will sign the Treaty quite soon, following a positive verdict in the Constitutional Court.

– fourthly, that the entire process will be completed during the autumn. As the Speaker of the Senate told me today – it’s a question of when, not if, the Treaty will be ratified.

We still have to wait some time for the Court to start its formal process and before it will be able to predict the timetable of the considerations. However, it was an important, and clarifying, day. It goes without saying that it’s our goal to have the Treaty in place during the Swedish Presidency.

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