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Poland Adopts New Eurpean Union Treaty

Hot news.

Poland Adopts New Eurpean Union Treaty

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's parliament overwhelmingly approved the ratification of the European Union's new treaty Tuesday, overcoming a key hurdle to approval by all 27 EU members.

Poland's lower house voted 384-56, with 12 abstentions, to adopt the so-called Lisbon Treaty. The upper house is expected to pass the bill Wednesday and President Lech Kaczynski has said he will ratify it "with the greatest pleasure."

The treaty sets out rules simplifying the way the EU is run. It replaces a draft EU constitution that was rejected by France and the Netherlands in 2005 in a major embarrassment for the bloc.

The issue has gained in urgency as the EU has expanded to take in a swath of Eastern Europe in recent years and as it struggles for economic competitiveness, energy security and greater unity on foreign policy.

Poland, the largest of the new Eastern European members, has been seen as the most combative of the newcomers, opposing almost every proposal for a treaty until now.

But over the weekend, the government struck a deal with the nationalist opposition to pass the treaty, despite their continued objection to what they regard as limitations it would impose on Polish sovereignty. The dispute had threatened to derail ratification.

"We all feel joint satisfaction," said parliament Speaker Bronislaw Komorowski, of the ruling Civic Platform party.

Sovereignty is a touchy subject in Poland, which was occupied by foreign forces for most of the past two centuries. Poles are still reveling in the independence they gained from Moscow with the fall of communism almost 20 years ago and many are hesitant to relinquish any independence.

The charter has already been signed by several countries. The next big hurdle comes when Irish voters decide in June whether to ratify the treaty — the only case where the people rather than lawmakers are to decide the matter

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-04/02/content_7901028.htm

Re: Poland Adopts New Eurpean Union Treaty

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