La Treizième Étoile: 01/11/09 - 08/11/09 Blog Archives
News from the European Union with a focus on the South West UK and Gibraltar region and its MEPs
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UEFA chief and Football Legend Michel Platini visits the European Parliament

Thursday, 5 November 2009
Michel Platini, the French football icon now head of UEFA, met with European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek last Thursday and left having agreed to be the referee for a match to be set up on the 60th Anniversary of the Schuman Declaration next year between the European Parliament and a team composed of members of national governments!

UEFA Boss Michel Platini meets EP Jerzy Buzek (Photo: ajburgess/Flickr)

But that was not the main reason for his visit. Presidents Buzek and Platini were due to discuss a number of wide-ranging issues in their meeting, including Mr Platini's latest "Financial Fair Play" initiative, the protection of minors and the clubs that train them and the issue of betting in football, namely corruption and match-fixing.

They also spoke about the arrangements for the forthcoming UEFA EURO 2012 tournament finals which are to be co-hosted in the Ukraine and Mr Buzek's native Poland.

After signing a couple of footballs and reminiscing about former players, Mr Platini addressed the press after the meeting today saying he was extremely pleased that they share the same outlook for the sport and that Mr Buzek has "encouraged us in our efforts on Financial Fair Play, the protection of minors and their forming clubs, as well as in our fight against corruption linked to betting."

He also thanked Mr Buzek for having agreed to join UEFA's Friends of Football.

In return, Mr Buzek said these are "good policies for European football and I fully support all the initiatives of UEFA and President Platini which are crucial for football in Europe".

He also gave his backing for grassroots football and for the game to be used to help educate young people reaffirming that "there should be zero tolerance against racism, violence and doping" in the popular sport.

Focus perhaps will now turn to the future football match, and to what position Mr Buzek will allocate himself in the team. After holding one of the signed balls in his hands throughout the press conference, should perhaps he wants be the goalkeeper...?

Czech Court finally gives Green Light to Lisbon Treaty

Tuesday, 3 November 2009
The big talk in Brussels today is the eager-awaited decision of the Czech Constitutional Court which today has rejected a challenge to the EU's Lisbon Treaty, paving the way for the sceptic Czech President Vaclav Klaus to sign it.

Pro-Lisbon balloons during the Irish referendum in October (Photo: EU Observer)The court ruled that the treaty - an overhaul of the EU's institutional rules and laws - is compatible with Czech national law.

The treaty "is not in conflict with the constitutional law of the Czech Republic," Pavel Rychetsky, the court's chief justice, told state TV on Tuesday (3 November).

The decision was warmly received in Brussels, where European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek said: "The final hurdle has now been cleared. The decision clears the way for President Vaclav Klaus to sign and finalise the ratification of the Treaty and I am very confident he will do so."

"The Treaty of Lisbon should now enter into force by the end of the year."

"When I met President Klaus in October in Prague, I said that I was optimistic that we could find a solution," he continued.

"The Czechs have secured their opt-out on the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and due legal process has been respected. We now look forward to working on the implementation of the Treaty which greatly enhances the powers of the democratically-elected European Parliament. "

The case had been brought by a group of 17 senators and came on the back of a similar though narrower challenge last year, which the top Czech judges also dismissed.

The Czech Republic is the last EU member state to fully ratify the treaty. The process has been held up by Mr Klaus, a eurosceptic and arch opponent of the document.

His signature is all that is required to complete ratification.

Now the decision has been announced, the mass attention will now again return to just who will occupy the two major posts that the Treaty will create...

UPDATE (15.35): Reports suggest Czech President Vaclav Klaus has now signed the Lisbon Treaty! Click here for BBC report

Last election:

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