EU leaders meeting in Brussels have agreed a deal designed to win Czech backing of the Lisbon Treaty, clearing a major hurdle to its ratification.
The Czechs were granted an opt-out from the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, similar to that of the UK and Poland.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus was satisfied with the concession, Czech PM Jan Fischer told reporters in Brussels.
But EU leaders failed to agree on funding for a climate change pact to help developing nations.
“The road to ratification stands open,” said Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency.
Gavin Hewitt, BBC Europe editor
The Czech Republic is the only one of the 27 EU nations which has not ratified the treaty, which aims to streamline how the bloc operates.
The BBC’s Oana Lungescu in Brussels said Mr Klaus – an ardent Eurosceptic – had feared that without the opt-out, the charter would allow thousands of ethnic Germans who were expelled from Czechoslovakia after World War II to reclaim their lands.
“Vaclav Klaus was content with the text. He has been informed about all modifications… and does not have a problem with it,” PM Fischer said after EU leaders agreed on the text at a summit.
But the opt-out is not the final hurdle to Prague’s ratification. The Czech Constitutional Court is expected to rule next week on whether the treaty complies with the country’s constitution.
But EU leaders are now free to discuss who will fill the post of president of the European Council, which the Lisbon Treaty will create.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Luxembourg Premier Jean-Claude Juncker have been touted as the leading candidates for the job.
On Thursday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown reiterated his support for Mr Blair, saying he would make an “excellent” first president of the European Union.
On climate change, the EU failed to reach a united position ahead of December’s United Nations Copenhagen summit, which aims to hammer out a new global climate treaty to replace the UN Kyoto Protocol.
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