Czech president positive on Lisbon treaty

By Alex Stevenson

The Lisbon treaty appeared a step closer to becoming reality after the Czech Republic’s president accepted an EU proposal.

Sweden, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, had sent Vaclav Klaus a proposal which gives him the opportunity to accept most aspects of the treaty.

Mr Klaus is worried by potential property claims from Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia after the second world war. He is seeking an opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which addresses human rights issues, which he fears could be used to make these claims justifiable in court.

“The president… received the Swedish presidency’s proposal which is a response to his request related to the Lisbon treaty ratification in the Czech Republic,” the Czech president’s office said in a statement.

“This proposal corresponds to what the president has envisioned and it is possible to work with it further.”

The Czech Republic is the only one of the EU’s 27 member states yet to ratify the Lisbon treaty. A ‘yes’ in the Ireland referendum was followed by Polish ratification earlier this month.

All 27 states must ratify the treaty for it to come into effect.