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France close to becoming fifth state to ratify EU treaty

brussels bureau

France close to becoming fifth state to ratify EU treaty


France’s lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, is to vote this Thursday on the European Union’s new reform treaty. Then the upper house Senate will cast its own vote on the Lisbon Treaty. With their approval, President Nicolas Sarkozy will formally ratify the treaty.

This comes nearly three years after French citizens rejected the EU draft constitution in a referendum.

Hungary, current EU presiding nation Slovenia, Malta and Romania have already ratified the treaty.

All 27 of the member states must ratify it for it to be valid.

Ireland is the only country holding a referendum – foreseen before this summer.

Slovakia’s government has failed repeatedly to get the text approved in parliament.

Even with opposition parties mostly agreeing with the text, they are witholding their support.

The cause is unrelated; They object to a media law they say restricts press freedom.

The 27-member EU intends to have ratification wrapped up in time for next year’s European Parliament elections.

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brussels bureau