Final preprarations are underway in the Italian capital Rome for the signing ceremony of the EU Constitution.
Extra tight security measures are in place ahead of the event. Police with bomb-sniffing dogs have been inspecting every inch of the Capitoline Hill. It was there, in the imposing Campidoglio Halls in the heart of Rome, that the European Economic Community was born in 1957. Today’s event will be on a far grander scale, not least because of the numbers involved. The 25 present-day EU members will be joined by candidate countriesBulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Croatia. EU leaders had been hoping the signing of the constitution, which was finally agreed in June after months of haggling, would herald a period of calm for the newly-enlarged Union. But the party has definitely been spoilt by the row over the new executive that has dragged the bloc back into chaos. Each member state must ratify the constitution before it comes into force. Around eight nations are likely to hold a referendum on the issue.