Europe’s controversial Lisbon Treaty, designed to smooth out much of the EU’s affairs, has passed a crucial hurdle in the Czech Republic.
The Constitutional Court, the highest court in the land, has agreed that the treaty conforms with Czech law, thus opening the way to its ratification by parliament.
Even so, the treaty faces stiff opposition. President Vaclav Klaus is a staunch eurosceptic, unwilling to cede any Czech sovereignty to Europe.
Among its measures the weighty tome proposes a permanent European President, and a beefed-up foreign presence.
All but two of the EU’s 27 members have ratified the treaty: only Ireland has so far rejected it.