ponedeljek, februar 07, 2005

Slovenia ratifies EU constitution

The National Assembly ratified the European Union constitution on 1 February, making it the third member state to do so. The required two-thirds majority was easily secured; the vote was 79:4, with seven members of parliament absent.

The National Party (SNS) voted against ratification, and urged members of parliament to join them to protest the manner of the ratification. AFP quoted SNS member of parliament Bogdan Barovič as saying, "Instead of having a debate on the bill and then approving it, we are first approving it and later we are supposed to debate on it" [AFP / 01.02.05 / Slovenia becomes third EU country to ratify EU constitution].

A University of Ljubljana poll from January showed that even though a majority of Slovene voters do support ratification, a whopping 36 percent have no opinion. The same poll also showed that 43 percent of voters know just a little bit about the constitution, while a telling 30 percent know nothing about it.

Previously, both Lithuania and Hungary had ratified the constitution, both – like Slovenia – new members of the EU. Spain is expected to be the next to vote on the constitution, in a 20 February referendum.

The 25 member states of the EU signed the constitution in Rome in October 2004, and it should enter into force as of November 2006. However, all member states must ratify the document, and so its fate is still far from secure [BBC / 01.02.05 / Slovenia ratifies EU constitution].