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Mad Tony
07-10-09, 13:17
The Czech PM, Jan Fischer, has told EU leaders he fully expects his country to ratify the EU's Lisbon Treaty by the end of this year.

The Czech Constitutional Court is studying a complaint against the treaty and the Eurosceptic Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, has not yet signed it.
Lisbon cannot take effect unless all 27 EU countries ratify it. All but the Czech Republic and Poland have done so.

The UK Conservatives want to put it to a referendum if elected next spring.

Race against time

Politicians across Europe want Lisbon ratified swiftly so as to get the new structures within it up and running, and to eliminate the possibility that any new British government might reverse the UK's ratification of the treaty, the BBC's Jonny Dymond reports from Brussels.

Mr Fischer held talks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso by videophone on Wednesday.

Mr Fischer said "everything is in place" for ratification of the treaty. Under the EU's original plan, Lisbon was supposed to take effect in January this year.

Mr Barroso welcomed Mr Fischer's assurance, saying "this commitment of the Czech government is very clear".
The treaty aims to streamline EU decision-making and boost the EU's role globally.

The Czech parliament has already approved the treaty, but a group of senators allied to President Klaus have launched a new legal complaint.
Poland is expected to complete ratification in a few days' time.

On Saturday voters in the Republic of Ireland backed the treaty overwhelmingly in a second referendum, nullifying the Irish "No" vote of June 2008

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8294050.stm

Damn. :( I was hoping the Czechs could hold out until the Conservatives are voted in over here next year so that we can get our referendum Labour promised but never delivered on. Unfortunately, if all member states ratify the bill (which is now very likely) a referendum wont be possible. :cen:

Ward Dragon
07-10-09, 21:24
So basically the UK's government signed the treaty without letting people vote on it, so if the other party takes over before the treaty is passed then they will have a vote and could cancel the UK's signature? That's my impression right now but I don't know too many details about the way the EU is run so I could be wrong.

In general, I think the EU does need to have a strong enough centralized government to actually make decisions and enforce them. However, it shouldn't be strong enough to abuse the rights of individual countries and override their authority without good reason. The initial federal government of the US was too weak and couldn't get anything done, and the current federal government is too strong and does too much. I hope the EU can find the right balance in the middle.

Cochrane
07-10-09, 21:43
So basically the UK's government signed the treaty without letting people vote on it, so if the other party takes over before the treaty is passed then they will have a vote and could cancel the UK's signature? That's my impression right now but I don't know too many details about the way the EU is run so I could be wrong.
That's exactly it. At the moment, the contract isn't in force, so the UK could withdraw their signature any time they want. Once the contract is in force, though, their only option to oppose it would be to leave the EU.

In general, I think the EU does need to have a strong enough centralized government to actually make decisions and enforce them. However, it shouldn't be strong enough to abuse the rights of individual countries and override their authority without good reason. The initial federal government of the US was too weak and couldn't get anything done, and the current federal government is too strong and does too much. I hope the EU can find the right balance in the middle.
I don't see the problem with a strong federal government if it represents the interests of the people (with elections). A state or country only has any value because of the people's choices anyway, so if both the federal and the state level have democratic legitimacy, I see no reason why the federal one should bow to the states.

That being said, a large problem of the EU is that the people don't actually have enough influence. A lot of important decisions get made by the commission, the composition of which is decided by national governments, and the council, which consists of the ministers for whatever department is currently relevant of all countries. There is very little way for us people to determine what happens in those areas. The EU parliament cannot introduce its own bills and does not have the powers to change or reject a lot of EU bills that get passed by the other two. The new treaty is meant to change a lot of that, but to it really does not go far enough. Still, probably better than no change.

Beans-Bot
07-10-09, 22:09
I usually sympathize with the Labour Party [as an American, that is], so maybe I'm biased. This Lisbon Treaty thingamajig doesn't seem all that bad to me, it seems to want to unify the EU more than it already is, which I think is only bad if you're already against EU policy.

So I guess the Czechs have my support, although I really can't have a say, being a member of a country outside of the Union and all. :p

Mad Tony
08-10-09, 06:38
So basically the UK's government signed the treaty without letting people vote on it, so if the other party takes over before the treaty is passed then they will have a vote and could cancel the UK's signature? That's my impression right now but I don't know too many details about the way the EU is run so I could be wrongThat's pretty much it.

That's exactly it. At the moment, the contract isn't in force, so the UK could withdraw their signature any time they want. Once the contract is in force, though, their only option to oppose it would be to leave the EU.Yeah but we're not going to as long as the Labour party are in power. They like to put the interests of Europe as a whole above that of the people they're serving - the British.

I usually sympathize with the Labour Party [as an American, that is], so maybe I'm biased. This Lisbon Treaty thingamajig doesn't seem all that bad to me, it seems to want to unify the EU more than it already is, which I think is only bad if you're already against EU policy.The Lisbon Treaty is just another step in the direction of a US-style European country. What I mean by this is that by the way things are going, member countries will literally be reduced to nothing more than states which answer to a central government in Brussels. Obviously it works fine in the US but in Europe it certainly isn't a good idea as all these individual countries will loose their national sovereignty and freedom.

Personally I favor withdrawal from the EU. Trade with Europe is absolutely fine though.