Poland’s president completed his country’s ratification of the European Union reform treaty on Saturday -- leaving the Czech Republic as the only nation yet to sign off on the agreement.
President Lech Kaczynski signed Poland’s ratification of the so-called Lisbon Treaty, which seeks to increase the 27-nation bloc’s influence by streamlining its decision-making process, at a ceremony attended by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and other EU dignitaries.
“I’m deeply convinced that this next great experiment will be a success,” Kaczynski told those gathered at the mirrored hall at Poland’s presidential palace.
“Within the framework of cooperation among sovereign states, we will achieve even better results -- in the interest of individual states, in the interest of Europe as a whole and in the interest of the world,” he said.
Poland’s parliament overwhelmingly approved ratification last year, but Kaczynski’s signature was still needed to complete the process.
To come into force, the reform treaty must be ratified by all 27 EU nations.
Both houses of the Czech parliament have approved ratification, but it still needs the signature of President Vaclav Klaus, an EU skeptic and vocal opponent of the treaty.
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country holds the EU presidency, urged Klaus to complete his ratification so the treaty can come into force Jan. 1.
“Europe eagerly waits (for) this to happen,” Reinfeldt said. “We do not need more delays.”
The Czech president says he is waiting on a ruling from the nation’s Constitutional Court on a challenge from 17 senators questioning aspects of the charter before putting his final stamp of approval on it.