EU Observer (Link) - Honor Mahony (October 30, 2009)
The EU's new set of institutional rules may come into force in just over a month, ending a marathon stretch of treaty-making that took eight years, included a series of referendums and resulted in an ungainly text littered with footnotes, protocols and opt-outs.
"The Lisbon Treaty will enter into force doubtless as early as December 1," French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after a summit of EU leaders on Friday (30 October).
The breakthrough came after member states managed to agree to a last-minute demand by Czech President Vaclav Klaus.
The deal - exempting Prague from a rights charter in the treaty - paves the way for Mr Klaus to sign the pact, a move that will allow it to go into force across the 27 member states of the European Union.
The Czech president can only sign after 3 November, the day when the Czech constitutional court is due to give its verdict on whether Lisbon is compatible with national law. The ruling is widely expected to come out in favour of the treaty, with a similar - though narrower - case also going the treaty's way last year.