Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2013-05-20-Speech-1-156-000"

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"Mr President, the Czech Protocol is the final piece of the Treaty of Lisbon saga that we need to dispatch. Its purpose is to join the Czech Republic to Protocol 30, which was signed by Britain and Poland and the principal purpose of which is to restrict the use of the Charter by and in the British and Polish courts. The legal effect of Protocol 30 is, however, unclear. Tony Blair claimed it was a British opt-out from the Charter, but it is not that: a view confirmed not only by the UK Court of Appeal but also by the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Whatever the intended effect of Protocol 30, its practical effect is to weaken the force of the Charter and to vary its application across the Union. President Václav Klaus, of blessed memory, demanded the inclusion of the Czech Protocol as his price for completing the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. Note that the Klaus Protocol has never been agreed by the Czech Parliament or the Czech courts. As things stand, it seems most improbable that it is to be ratified by the Czech Senate or indeed the new President, Milos Zeman. So the Czech Protocol that we are considering relies upon the twin legacy of two men, distinguished in their own way – Mr Blair and Mr Klaus – whose service to Europe is not beyond reproach. It is not, I have to say, surprising in these circumstances that the Committee on Constitutional Affairs found it a problem to agree on more than an exceedingly neutral (or indeed ‘neutered’) opinion – and on the recommendation that, should the European Council agree to press ahead with this – in my view, spurious – protocol, the other Member States ought not to start their own ratification processes before the process in the Czech Republic has been completed."@en1

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