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(05/01/08) -

Lisbon Treaty Backed in Czech Republic

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – A majority of Czech adults want their legislative branch to approve the Lisbon Treaty, according to a poll by STEM. 53 per cent of respondents believe Parliament should ratify the European Union (EU) agreement.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – A majority of Czech adults want their legislative branch to approve the Lisbon Treaty, according to a poll by STEM. 53 per cent of respondents believe Parliament should ratify the European Union (EU) agreement.

EU heads of state officially signed the European Constitution on Oct. 29, 2004. The project for a continental body of law was practically abandoned in 2005, after voters in France and the Netherlands rejected the proposed document in two plebiscites.

In October 2007, leaders of the 27 EU member nations reached an agreement on the Lisbon Treaty and Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Lisbon Treaty provisions call for the creation of new posts, such as a foreign policy chief, and a High Representative who will answer to EU governments and serve as vice-president of the European Commission. The Charter will become legally binding in all EU member states except Britain, which negotiated an exemption.

The EU leaders would also choose a president of the European Council for a two and a half year renewable term. This will effectively eliminate the current six-month rotating presidency among member nations. The Lisbon Treaty also provides for the creation of a mutual defence clause, in case one of the member states is attacked.

If all countries ratify the treaty—whether through a referendum or a parliamentary vote—it will become effective in January 2009. Ireland, due to its internal regulations, is the only country that must hold a nationwide vote on the Lisbon Treaty, while other governments can decide whether they want to do the same.

The Czech Parliament has passed the Lisbon Treaty in first reading, and is expected to fully ratify the agreement before the end of the year. The opposition Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) has urged the government—which brings together the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), the Green Party (SZ), and the Christian and Democratic Union – Czech People’s Party (KDU-CSL)—to hold a nationwide referendum in order to endorse the document. The other opposition party in the Chamber of Deputies—the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD)—supports the Lisbon Treaty.

On Apr. 29, the Czech Senate submitted the Lisbon Treaty to the Constitutional Court, for a review on whether the EU agreement is in harmony with the country’s constitution.

Polling Data

Do you believe that the Czech parliament should ratify the Lisbon Treaty?

 

Apr. 2008

Feb. 2008

Yes

53%

52%

No

47%

48%

Source: STEM
Methodology: Interviews with 1,341 Czech voters, conducted from Apr. 1 to Apr. 8, 2008. Margin of error is 2.5 per cent.