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Irish revote likely on EU treaty

Meeting in Brussels, European Union leaders signaled their intent to ensure that all 27 member states ratify the key treaty, which governs EU decisionmaking. But Czech approval also appears in doubt.

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Irish voters appear likely to vote again on the Lisbon Treaty in a bid to sustain progress toward a more streamlined and powerful European Union.

Meeting in Brussels, European Union leaders signaled their intent to prevent a two-tiered union by ensuring that all 27 member states ratify the treaty.

Even as they did, however, concerns rose about the Czech Republic's ability to do so, as the Czech senate has demanded a court ruling on the treaty's constitutionality.

Last week, almost 54 percent of Irish voters rejected the treaty, which will govern EU decisionmaking and institutions. That disrupted expectations that the treaty would be concluded by the end of the summer. Now, the Irish government has until October to complete its analysis of the referendum result and present a strategy for future ratification.

"It's not being said specifically yet, but it is quite clear that the other countries, especially Germany and France, want the Irish to vote again," says Simon O'Connor, editor of E!Sharp, a Brussels-based magazine on European Union affairs.

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