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Belgium latest to approve EU constitution

Belgium latest to approve EU constitution
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The Belgian parliament has approved the adoption of the EU constitution, one month after the country’s Senate. The vote was carried by a large majority, 118 for, 18 against, with one abstention. The treaty still needs to be ratified by Belgium’s five regional assemblies.

However the process of ratification has not been so overwhelmingly acclaimed. While some insist in a parliamentary democracy it is for elected members to assume their responsibilities, others regret the lack of a national debate, particularly in a climate of rising support for the “no” camp. They argue, on the contrary, that purely parliamentary approval shows the limits of the electoral system.

“No” camp protestors outside the parliament may agree with that view, and one Socialist former mayor of Liege added that the government is trying to rush approval through all of Belgium’s elected chambers before the end of June.