France took up the rotating EU presidency on Tuesday amidst increasing concerns over the fate of the Lisbon Treaty. Polish President Lech Kaczynski unexpectedly announced he would not sign the treaty following its rejection by Ireland and there is concern over the stands of Germany and the Czech Republic where lawmakers have asked their constitutional courts to review the document, delaying its ratification. President Sarkozy pulled out the big guns on Monday night, saying that France would make the treaty’s ratification its top priority and dealing
The Czech Republic is one of seven EU countries which haven’t yet ratified the Lisbon Treaty. Its ratification has become a divisive issue between the eurosceptic and moderate wings in the government’s strongest party, the Civic Democrats. In this edition of Talking Point, we look at the controversies surrounding the treaty’s ratification in the Czech Republic.
Leaders of EU countries agreed in Brussels on Friday that the Lisbon Treaty ratification process will continue in the remaining seven countries, regardless of last week’s no vote by the Irish. They also made a concession to the Czech Republic where the process is pending on a verdict of the country’s constitutional court.
Leaders of the European Union are sitting down in Brussels on Thursday to try to find a way out of the crisis created by Ireland’s rejection of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty in Friday’s referendum. Following Britain’s ratification, all eyes are on the Czech Republic, where the Senate has sent the document to the Constitutional Court before they’ll go any further. So with Czech ratification on hold, what happens next? Rob Cameron spoke to Petr Mach, director of the Eurosceptic think tank the Centre for Economics and Politics, and began by asking him whether
The French president Nicolas Sarkozy came to Prague on Monday, a trip that had been planned long in advance but happened to fall on the first working day after the people of Ireland voted ‘No’ to the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. The Czech Republic is one of eight countries that still haven’t ratified the treaty, and the country is seen by many as the biggest obstacle in the path of reviving the ill-fated EU reform project.
Most EU leaders certainly hoped it wouldn’t come to this: a failure by a single country to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon, the third rejection of proposed reforms to the European Union in three years. Once again, the EU faces renewed crisis with unanswered questions over how – and how effectively – the bloc will function in the future. But while acknowledging the set-back, most EU representatives still want the ratification process to go ahead. By contrast, long-term critics such as Czech President Václav Klaus have already declared the treaty, like
Whoever in the Irish government thought of holding a referendum on Friday the 13th might now be regretting it. Unofficial vote tallies from the popular vote on the Lisbon Treaty suggest the Irish people have said ‘No’ to the European Union’s plans for institutional reform. The collapse of Lisbon would have far-reaching consequences not only for the Union itself but also for the Czech Republic, which is due to take over the reins of the EU on January 1st 2009, the day the new rules were supposed to come into force.
Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that his U.S. counterpart Condoleezza Rice would visit the Czech Republic in early July to sign a treaty – or treaties – on the planned deployment of a U.S. radar base on Czech soil. But in an interview for the Reuters news agency, Mr Schwarzenberg admitted he wasn’t sure ratification would get through the Czech parliament before George W. Bush leaves office. He also said he would offer his resignation if the proposal was defeated by MPs.
Plans to build a US radar base in the Czech Republic have been in the news lately, after a protest hunger strike undertaken by two members of a group called No to Bases. Jan Tamáš and Jan Bednář, who started eating solid food again on Monday, are now being replaced by various public figures on short symbolic fasts. Their influence has also spread outside the Czech Republic, inspiring Bruce Gagnon, an activist with the US-based Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space; Mr Gagnon has not eaten for a week and a half – on the phone
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