Final Word from Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How would Czechs feel if Brussels told them they "must" ratify the Lisbon treaty? If it were put this way, they would probably tell Brussels where to stick it. Yet the ratification language used in the Lisbon treaty and the Czech Constitution is nearly identical. The EU text states that "this Treaty shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties," and the Czech Constitution says that "the president shall ratify [or ratifies] international treaties." When the chief justice of the Constitutional Court and other constitutional experts tell Václav Klaus that this means he "must" ratify the treaty, he understandably adopts a defensive posture. A more reasonable approach would be for them to use all the time they devote to anti-Klaus rhetoric to explain why the president "should" ratify the document. But that would require them to defend the reality of encroaching European federalism, and they'd rather not go there.[Czech Republic European Union Pavel Rychetský]

Glossary of difficult words

must not - "must not" can be ambiguous in English - it can mean that someone "need not" do something or that it is vitally important that he not do it;

where to stick it - (mildly vulgar) what to do with something (as in stick it up their ass);

posture - approach or attitude; way of dealing with something;

encroaching - advancing gradually and in a way that causes damage;

not go there - (informal) not to address a subject.


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