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Czech president prepared to sign Lisbon Treaty after opt-out clause agreement

[JURIST] Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus [official website, in Czech] said Friday that he will raise no further objections [press release, in Czech] to the European Union (EU) reform treaty, known as the Treaty of Lisbon [EU materials; JURIST news archive], after EU leaders reached an agreement on an opt-out clause. At European Council [official website] summit in Brussels, the Council agreed Thursday to add a protocol [text, PDF] to the Lisbon Treaty that will protect Czech citizens from property claims of ethnic Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia during WWII. Klaus said, "[s]olutions adopted by the EU Heads of State significantly strengthen the protection of the Czech Republic ahead of a possible breach of the so-called Benes decrees and reduces risks related to the legal security and property rights of Czech citizens." Despite his statement, Klaus cannot sign the treaty until it is approved by the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic [official website, in Czech], which last week delayed [press release, in Czech; JURIST report] its judgment until November 3.

The Czech Republic is the only EU member state that has not yet ratified the treaty. The Czech Republic's Chamber of Deputies [official website] approved [JURIST report] the treaty in February, and the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic [official website] voted to approve [JURIST report] the treaty in March. Efforts to ratify the treaty [JURIST news archive] in all 27 EU member states, as required for approval, have faced opposition. Poland and Ireland [JURIST reports] approved the treaty earlier in the month, but only after certain guarantees were made by the EU. Germany ratified [JURIST report] the treaty in September.

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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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