is not over yet!

, by Mark Seychell is not over yet!

When on the 2nd of October, the Irish voted for the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, celebrations were sparked among around the EU, and rightly so. All we have to do now is wait for the Czech Republic in order to move forward to the next step of European Integration, something which will not be too easy.

Polish President, Lech Kaczynski had already said before the Irish decision that if the Irish vote in favour, he would most certainly sign the treaty, so the only question is when and not if. The Polish government has stated that President Kaczynski took this decision in order to prove that all EU member states are equal and none were more important than another. Yet Poland no longer prove a problem since President Kaczynski has just signed the treaty leaving the Czech Republic the only member state with a question mark over its head.

Looking over to the Czech Republic, the situation is far more complex. Despite the treaty being ratified by the Czech parliament, President Vaclav Klaus, a renowned Euro-sceptic has delayed the signing of the treaty. He has been so far aided by various Czech senators who filed a legal complaint against the adoption of the treaty in an attempt to delay the signing as much as possible.

This raises further complications in the UK. The delay of the ratification of the treaty in the Czech Republic can continue until the UK election in 2010, an election which is widely expected to see David Cameron’s Tories elected into power. And if that happens, it is also expected that they will hold a referendum, which will further delay ratification, despite the Treaty already being proved by London.

The Irish citizens have allowed us to move forward and update the Treaty of Maastricht with the amendments of Lisbon in order to make for a simpler EU, a EU which is easier to understand by you and me, and by him and her. A EU more streamlined, encouraging quicker and easier decision making. A EU which will have more power politically, since that is what the Lisbon Treaty focused on. A EU which makes sure the that a small country such as Malta, or even a large country such as Germany, does not stop progress by introducing qualified majority voting in most areas. A EU which now officially recognises Human rights through the recognition of the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union. A slicker and sleeker EU which caters for progression rather than stagnation.

This is the EU the Irish have voted for. This is the EU which is waiting to be ratified and implemented fully. Now it is the turn of the Czech Republic to shoulder the great burden the Irish had.

- Vaclav Klaus, source: image provided by the author.

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