[JURIST] Irish President Mary McAleese [official website] on Thursday signed the European Union (EU) reform treaty, known as the Treaty of Lisbon [EU materials; JURIST news archive], completing the country's ratification process. Ireland has become the 26th nation to ratify the treaty, leaving the Czech Republic as the only one of the 27 member nations that has not yet done so. Irish voters approved the treaty [JURIST report] in a second referendum vote held earlier this month after the EU offered guarantees on representation, national sovereignty, and other legal matters. Ireland was the only member state to constitutionally require a voter referendum in order to ratify the treaty.
After the treaty was approved by Irish voters, Polish President Lech Kaczynski [official website] ratified [JURIST report] the document. Last week, the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic [official website, in Czech] announced that it will hold a public hearing [JURIST report] on October 27 regarding a challenge to the country's signing of the treaty. EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso [official website] urged [press release] the Czech Republic to sign the treaty and not raise artificial objections, saying it would be "completely absurd" to reopen the ratification process in the other member states.