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Home > The Lisbon Treaty > Ratification Stage > Czech Republic
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2003: EU - Accession (Yes 77 % - No 23 % - Turnout 55 %)


CONSTITUTIONAL CONDITIONS - Constitution of the Czech Republic

Binding referendum expressly provided for transfer of sovereignty but requires enactment by constitutional law. Consultative referendum can anyhow be held if ordered by ad-hoc-law.



Approval of international treaties without transfer of sovereignty:
Majority of votes from both chambers, Art. 49, 39 II ConstCzRep.

Approval of transfer of sovereignty without effect of constitutional amendment:
Majority of 3/5 from members of parliament and 3/5 of the votes from senate, Art. 10a I, 39 IV ConstCzRep. With constitutional law a referendum can be ordered, Art. 10a II ConstCzRep.

Approval of transfer of sovereignty with effect of constitutional amendment:
Previous constitutional amendment required if constitutional court decides that an international treaty is not in conformity with the constitution, Art. 89 III, 87 II ConstCzRep.

Approval of constitutional amendment:
Only by constitutional act that requires a majority of 3/5 from members of parliament and 3/5 of the votes from senate, Art. 9 I, 39 IV ConstCzRep.

Other constitutional regulations about referendums:
With constitutional act referenda can be implemented into constitution with a majority of 3/5 from the members of parliament and 3/5 of the votes from senate, Art. 2 II ConstCzRep.



Eurobarometer (2006), The Future of Europe - Results for the Czech Republic, Special Eurobarometer 251, Fieldwork: 23/02 – 15/03 2006. (PDF)

  • The Czech government has questioned the date for the ratification of the Reform Treaty - set for 2009. "We do not want to improvise during our presidency," said Alexander Vondra, the Czech Secretary for EU affairs, referring to the country's six-month term in the first half of 2009. Vondra suggested that putting the Constitution in force within a 12-month period - rather than within the 18-24 months that is normally the case - would be a "record tempo" and hard to achieve. Prague had expressed concerns about the ambitious timetable before, but other EU member states argued that the new institutional rules should be introduced just ahead of the EU assembly's 2009 elections. EUobserver.com
  • The Czech Republic voted on 30 October 2007 to ratify the treaty through the parliamentary route, and not via a referendum; the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia and three rebel MPs from the ruling Civic Democratic Party were the only ones to vote in favour of a referendum
  • On 01.04.2008 the Czech Chamber of Deputies passed the Lisbon treaty in first reading today, but the deputies will take the final vote on it only in the months ahead, may be in the autumn only. The reason is that the senior government Civic Democratic Party (ODS) wants the Constitutional Court to review the treaty before parliament says its final word. Besides all Communist (KSCM) deputies present, also five ODS deputies voted against the treaty. The treaty will now be discussed by the constitutional-legal, foreign and European affairs committees of the Chamber of Deputies.
  • On 18 February 2009, the Czech Republic took the first step toward ratification of the Lisbon treaty. The vote in the lower House saw 125 deputies vote in favour of the document and 61 against with 197 deputies present. Czech deputy prime minister Alexandr Vondra welcomed the result, which had been delayed several times previously due to domestic squabbling between political parties.
  • The Czech Senate on 06 May 2009 approved the EU's Treaty of Lisbon, the vote was preceded by six hours of debate. Outgoing Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, who had previously questioned the merits of the treaty, urged the house to back it.
  • The Czech constitutional court was reviewing a complaint against the treaty filed by a group of Czech senators and expects to announce a date for the final ruling by the end of October. The complaint by the Czech senators has upset the treaty's supporters, not least because British opposition leader David Cameron may has said he will hold a referendum if the treaty has not been ratified across the EU by the time he comes to power.
  • On 03.11.2009 Czech President Vaclav Klaus signed the Lisbon Treaty, his signature, the last of EU leaders, follows on from the Czech constitutional court decision on 03.11.2009 that ruled in favour of the Lisbon Treaty's compatibility with the Czech constitution. At the Brussels European Council on 30.10.2009, EU leaders agreed to offer the Czech Republic an opt-out from the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, the same exemption that was granted to Poland and the United Kingdom.




The parliamentary ratification was held on the 18.02.2009 in the lower house (125 votes in favour; 61 against and 1 abstention) and on the 06.05.2009 in the Senate (54 votes in favour; 20 against)



Handl, V. (2007), Die deutsche Ratspräsidentschaft aus tschechischer Sicht, integration, 3/07, Juli 2007. (German) (PDF)

Esparza, D.; Mestankova, P. (2007), Los checos frente a la crisis europea, Real Instituto Elcano, ARI Nº 60/2007, 29/05/2007. (Spanish) (PDF)



© Carlos Closa 2003 - Design by Eduardo Jáuregui. Edited by Mario Kölling
Doctorado en Unión Europea