Monday, 12 October 2009

Vaclav Klaus demands the imaginary and the impossible

EurActiv has some additional information about the latest condition by Czech President Vaclav Klaus to sign the ratification instrument for the EU Treaty of Lisbon, in “Klaus links EU treaty signature to WWII claims” (12 October 2009).

According to the story, Klaus's aide Ladislav Jakl said on Sunday the president demanded a binding guarantee and a political declaration by the EU, insisting that an easier way forward would not be sufficient.



If Klaus demands an instant treaty change, at this late hour, it is impossible. It would require a new round of ratifications, it would deprive Czech citizens of the rights enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and it would force the EU member states to nominate a new Commission under the Nice Treaty rules, as well as continue with the unreformed institutions.



Klaus’ fears are imaginary, as the Czech government has told him.

This is further proof of his lack of good faith.


New demands?

Klaus has been inventing objections, as the need arises. At no time has Klaus convinced anyone that he would stop producing new obstacles.


Abuse of powers

At this moment, I do not know the Czech government’s intentions today or later, but there are no indications that Klaus wants to solve the Czech constitutional crisis (or the EU’s institutional crisis) amicably.

This has become a test for the Czech parliamentary democracy.

If the President is unable to fulfil his constitutional duties, the only practicable solution seems to be to depose him, before he causes his country more damage. It takes a resolution by Parliament, and the powers would be taken over by the Prime Minister.

Article 66 of the Czech Constitution states:

If the office of the Presidency becomes vacant and before a new President of the Republic has been elected or has taken the oath of office, likewise if the President of the Republic is, for serious reasons, incapable of performing his duties. and if the Assembly of Deputies and the Senate adopt a resolution to this effect, the performance of the presidential duties under Article 63, paragraph 1, letters a), b), c), d), e), h), i), j) and Article 63, paragraph 2 shall devolve upon the Prime Minister. In any period in which the Prime Minister is performing the above-specified presidential duties, the performance of the duties under Article 62, letters a), b), c), d), e), k) and l) shall devolve upon the Chairperson of the Assembly of Deputies; if the office of the Presidency becomes vacant during a period in which the Assembly of Deputies is dissolved, the performance of these functions shall devolve upon the Chairperson of the Senate.


The reasons are serious enough, and so is Klaus’ abuse of power.

Ralf Grahn