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Czech lower house approves EU reform treaty

[JURIST] The Czech Republic's Chamber of Deputies [official website], the lower house of the nation's parliament, on Wednesday approved [press release] the European Union (EU) reform pact known as the Treaty of Lisbon [EU materials; text]. The approval brings the treaty closer to full ratification by the EU's 27 member states, though it still must pass the nation's Senate [official website], be signed by President Vaclav Klaus [official website] and face a referendum in Ireland [JURIST report]. The measure is expected to draw rigorous debate in the Senate, where some leaders want to delay ratification [ODS press release] until the parliament approves a plan to host a radar base for a US missile defense system. If the agreement does pass the Senate, Klaus has expressed a desire to put off signing it until the issue is resolved in Ireland.

The Czech Republic, which currently holds the EU's six-month, rotating presidency, has faced pressure from EU states to approve the agreement after delays, including a failed constitutional challenge [JURIST report]. Irish voters rejected [JURIST report] the treaty in a June 2008 referendum, prompting Polish President Lech Kaczynski [official website] to refuse [JURIST report] to sign, calling it "pointless." In November 2008, Sweden became the 24th EU state to ratify the charter [JURIST report]. In 2005, a proposed European constitution [JURIST news archive] failed when voters in France and the Netherlands [JURIST reports] rejected the proposal in national referenda.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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