Vaclav Klaus, the Czech Republic President, who felt the Lisbon Treaty would infringe on EU member states’ sovereignty, has won the concession he demanded before he would put his crowning signature on the deed. All the other 26 EU countries had finished their ratification.
Even after both houses of parliament in Prague approved Lisbon, under pressure from several sides, Klaus held out for an opt-out from the treaty’s Fundamental Rights Charter. He said ethnic Germans might use it to reclaim land they lost in Czechoslovakia after World War II. The Benes Decrees that covered this were a kind of settling of accounts, after the calamity of the war and the country’s desertion by its allies. The Czech government, not very stable lately, under Prime Minister Jan Fisher, had to negotiate with current EU presidency Sweden to try to get Klaus’s presidential demand accommodated. Klaus also has held back signing the Lisbon Treaty until yet another complaint – this one brought by a group of Czech senators – was reviewed by their country’s constitutional court. Its deliberations continue; its next public session is a week away.