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Europe

Poland to sign Lisbon Treaty

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-10-08

Polish President Lech Kaczynski will sign the European Union's Lisbon Treaty into law on Sunday, according to a presidential aide, leaving the Czech Republic the only EU member country yet to ratify the treaty.

REUTERS - Polish President Lech Kaczynski will sign the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty into law on Sunday October 11, a presidential aide said on Thursday.

 

Poland and the Czech Republic are the only countries in the 27-member EU still to ratify the treaty after Irish voters overwhemingly backed the document in a referendum last Friday.

 

The treaty aims to streamline EU decision-making. It has to be ratified by all 27 member states to come into force.

 

“The president keeps his word. He said he will sign the treaty with no delays if the Irish say ‘yes’. On Sunday he will sign the treaty,” Aleksander Szczyglo told TVN 24.

 

Kaczynski, a nationalist-minded conservative, is sceptical about the further EU integration envisaged by the Lisbon Treaty but he has made clear he will not continue to withhold his signature if Irish voters backed the document.

 

Last week, another presidential aide, Pawel Wypych, said Kaczynski had delayed signing the treaty because he respected the democratic process in Ireland and had not wanted to put pressure on Irish voters ahead of the referendum.

 

The two chambers of Poland’s parliament ratified the treaty last year. Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s centre-right, pro-EU coalition has a majority in both chambers.

 

Kaczynski and his twin brother Jaroslaw—Poland’s then-prime minister and now leader of the main opposition party -- reluctantly accepted the Lisbon Treaty in 2007 after winning concessions on voting rights.

 

Tusk, who replaced Jaroslaw Kaczynski as prime minister in late 2007, has managed to shed Poland’s image in the EU as an awkward newcomer, strongly supporting both the Lisbon Treaty and the country’s future membership of the euro.

Date created : 2009-10-08

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