Estonia’s parliament has celebrated Europe Day by ratifying the European Union’s constitution. In spite of anti-charter protests outside the assembly, surveys show Estonians’ support for EU membership has remained stable since it joined the bloc in May 2004. An opinion poll in April showed two thirds’ backing.
By voting for its adoption, the Baltic nation’s 101-seat parliament took to 15 the number of EU member states to have approved the EU constitutional treaty. This is designed to streamline EU institutions and improve decision-making in
the enlarged 25-member bloc. But analysts said the Estonian move was unlikely to give the stalled charter a positive jolt.
The approval of all the 25 members is needed for the charter to enter force. Eight have suspended the ratification process following France’s and the
Netherlands’ rejections of it in referendums last year.
Drawing parallels and looking at contrasts with the launching of European integration half a century ago, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said if the project
had been put to a referendum then, he was fairly sure it would have failed.
But he added that:
“By approving the treaty we have made an important contribution to the EU’s