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Germany president ratifies EU reform treaty

[JURIST] German President Horst Koehler [official website, in German] on Friday signed the EU reform treaty, known as the Lisbon Treaty [EU materials; text], completing the country's problematic ratification process. The signature was the final step for ratification, after the Bundesrat [official website] gave final approval [JURIST report] earlier this week to a bill [text, PDF, in German] setting out the process for ratification. Although both houses of Germany's parliament had previously approved the treaty [JURIST report], the German Constitutional Court [official website, in German] ruled [judgment; JURIST report] in June that the treaty could not be ratified without certain parliamentary reforms ensuring Germany's sovereignty. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso thanked [DPA report] Germany for ratifying the treaty, calling it an "important step towards more capacity to act, democratic accountability and influence at global level."

Efforts to ratify [JURIST news archive] the treaty in all of the 27 member countries required for approval have met some obstacles. Although the treaty has been approved in 23 countries, Irish voters rejected [JURIST report] the treaty last year, leading Czech President Vaclav Klaus [official website] to refuse to sign the measure, despite approval [JURIST report] by the Czech Senate [official website]. In July 2008, Polish President Lech Kaczynski [official website] also refused to sign [JURIST report] the treaty despite parliamentary approval, calling it "pointless" in light of the Irish rejection. Ireland agreed in June to hold a second referendum [JURIST report] after EU leaders agreed to certain concessions [presidency conclusions, PDF]. The referendum is scheduled for next week.

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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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