Polish prez inks Lisbon treaty

Only Czechs left to ratify EU reform document

 
The Lisbon Treaty is designed to streamline decision-making and give the 27-nation bloc a long-term president and a stronger foreign policy chief. It can only take effect when all member states have approved it. “Only Czech President Vaclav Klaus’ signature is missing.

Europe eagerly awaits this to happen, Europe needs no more delays,” said Swedish premier Fredrik Reinfeldt, who attended the signing ceremony in Poland’s presidential palace.

Klaus set out his terms on Friday for signing the treaty, demanding an exemption to protect Prague from post-war property claims and safeguard the sovereignty of the judiciary.

Kaczynski signed the treaty at a ceremony attended by the head of European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and the leader of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek.

He stressed that the EU remained a union of sovereign nations and said it must remain open to new members, including countries in the Balkans and Georgia. “We now have 27 member states. I am deeply convinced this is not the end... The EU, a successful experiment without precedent in human history, cannot be closed to those who wish to join... not only in the Balkans but also countries like Georgia.”

He had refused to sign the treaty, which Poland’s parliament approved last year, until Irish voters backed it in a referendum.

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