New minister wants abolition of Czech opt-out from Lisbon Treaty


29.01.2014 18:50

Prague - New Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier wants the government to ask for the abolition of the Czech opt-out from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, part of the Lisbon Treaty, which ex-president Vaclav Klaus pushed through, Dienstbier (Social Democrats, CSSD) said today.


Nový ministr pro legislativní radu vlády, lidská práva a rovné příležitosti Jiří Dienstbier (vlevo) převzal 29. ledna na Pražském hradě pověření z rukou prezidenta Miloše Zemana ČTK Doležal Michal

This would be a symbolic and significant step by which the Czech Republic would strongly avow human rights protection, Dienstbier (Social Democrats CSSD), minister for the Government Legislative Council, human rights and equal opportunities, told reporters after the government´s first meeting.

"Rights are protected by other constitutional documents and international treaties as well but I suppose that our citizens deserve to have the same extent of human rights protection as the citizens of other EU member states," Dienstbier told a press conference.

The CSSD criticised Klaus´s step in the past.

Then president Klaus (2003-2013) demanded a Czech opt-out from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in October 2009 as his condition for signing the Lisbon Treaty.

He justified it by fears of Sudeten Germans' claims on the property confiscated from them in former Czechoslovakia on the basis of the Benes decrees after WWII, with the European Court of Justice. However, most legal experts ruled out such a risk.

The EU summit approved the opt-out for the Czech Republic in October 2009. Klaus then signed the Lisbon Treaty as the last EU head of state.

Last year, the European Parliament recommended that the EU member states do not deal with the Czech opt-out from the Lisbon Treaty. The EP's stance is not binding in this respect.

Zeman appointed the centre-left coalition government of the CSSD, the ANO movement and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) today.

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