[JURIST] Czech Republic Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek [official profile] said Sunday that leaders in Prague are not on board with ratifying the European constitution [official website; JURIST news archive] in its current form, and do not plan to take part in future ratification discussions. The decision marks the second time that the Czech Republic declined to continue debating the charter, the first being after the document was rejected by voters in France and the Netherlands [JURIST reports] in 2005. Topolanek agreed in a television interview [AP report] Sunday that Europe does need a new constitution, but urged EU states to adopt a simpler treaty saying the EU "cannot return to the document that already was rejected."
Topolanek's comments came just days before German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website, in German; BBC profile], whose country currently holds the six-month rotating EU presidency, is scheduled to arrive in Prague. She is expected to discuss the proposed constitution and the European integration process with Czech diplomats as part of her campaign to have the document ratified by 2009 [JURIST report]. CTK has more.