The Czech Republic will have an opt-out from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights the EU summit agreed on October 29, Czech government spokesman Roman Prorok told the ČTK newswire.
Czech President Václav Klaus made the opt-out a condition for his signature on the Lisbon treaty. The amendment to the treaty was approved in the form proposed by the Swedish presidency. The Czech Republic is the sole EU country not to have completed the process of ratification of the treaty. Klaus wanted the opt-out out of fear that Sudeten Germans might claim property that was confiscated from them under the Beneš Decrees after World War II.
The decrees issued by former Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš provided for the confiscation of the property of collaborators, traitors, and ethnic Germans and Hungarians, except for those who suffered under the Nazis. They also formed a basis for the removal of these groups of people from Czechoslovakia.
Both houses of the Czech parliament have already passed the treaty. Klaus has not signed it as yet and he even cannot do so now but must wait for a decision by the country’s Constitutional Court. A group of senators has turned to the court to ask whether the Lisbon treaty is in harmony with the Czech Constitution. The court hearing was adjourned on October 27 until November 3 when the final verdict may be given. ČTK
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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