The Czech Constitutional Court will hear a challenge, backed by President Vaclav Klaus (pictured), that the EU's Lisbon Treaty infringes national sovereignty. The Czech Republic is the only EU nation yet to ratify the treaty.
REUTERS - The Czech Constitutional Court is unlikely to make an immediate ruling when it considers a complaint against the European Union's reform treaty on Tuesday, Prime Minister Jan Fischer said.
The Lisbon Treaty, meant to streamline decision-making and give the EU greater clout on the world scene, has to be ratified by all 27 EU member states. Only the Czech Republic has yet to do so.
The court complaint, which most lawyers say will be dismissed, is an obstacle to Czech ratification, the final nod needed to bring the treaty into force. EU leaders want to complete the process by the end of the year.
"My forecast is that tomorrow the Constitutional Court will not decide in the case," Fischer told a news conference on Monday, adding that a subsequent hearing probably would make the ruling."
The court has not said when it will make the ruling, but in past cases it has often ruled on the day of the first hearing or soon after.
The complaint was filed by a group of conservative senators who say the treaty would infringe Czech national sovereignty. The court has rejected a similar complaint before.
Czech ratification also hinges on a demand by President Vaclav Klaus to secure the Czech Republic an opt-out from a rights charter attached to the Lisbon Treaty.
EU leaders are expected to discuss Klaus's demand at a summit on Thursday and Friday.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning