Poland has now formally ratified the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, leaving the Czech Republic the only one of the bloc’s 27 members to do so.
If and when the Czechs ratify, the Treaty will come into force. Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski put pen to paper at just after midday at his residential palace in Warsaw. The treaty is designed to streamline the decision-making process within the EU but a spanner could still be thrown into the works. Firstly there is the question of Czech ratification; the Czech president wants a footnote added to the text giving his country an opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Overcoming the Czech objections will now be the focus of the next EU summit at the end of this month. The head of the European Parliament has said he hopes to have that crucial last signature by the end of this year.