[JURIST] Poland ratified [press release] the European Union (EU) reform pact known as the Lisbon Treaty [EU materials; text] on Saturday, becoming the 26th country to do so. Before signing the agreement, Polish President Lech Kaczynski [official website] expressed confidence that the treaty would be successful [BBC report]. European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso [official website] expressed approval [press release] at the signing ceremony, saying that the treaty's final ratification will better the EU's ability to face future challenges and to become "a Europe of freedom and solidarity." The agreement will take effect if it is ratified by the Czech Republic, the only holdout among the 27 EU member states.
The treaty was approved by voters in Ireland last week, who initially rejected it [JURIST reports] over a year ago, after certain guarantees were made by the EU. Kaczynski had previously refused to sign [JURIST report] the charter for Poland, saying that doing so would be pointless without Ireland's approval. During initial negotiations for the agreement, Poland raised numerous objections regarding the proposed Council of Europe voting system but still signed [JURIST report] in December 2007.