Monday

25th Sep 2017

Cyprus ratifies EU constitution

  • Cyprus is the 11th country to have ratified the EU Constitution (Photo: European Commission)

Cyprus has become the eleventh EU member to ratify the EU constitution after its parliament approved it on Thursday (30 June).

Thirty deputies voted in favour of the treaty, 19 voted against and one abstained during the special two-day session.

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The communist party Akel - the largest in the parliament with 20 seats - opposed the constitution, calling it "neo-conservative" and "militaristic", according to Le Monde.

But foreign minister George Iacovou said, "It's a great day for Cyprus and it's a very important day for Europe".

And Vassos Lyssarides, honourary president of socialist party Edek, said that "rejection of the constitution would mean accepting the uncertainty currently hanging over the EU".

Cyprus, which is one of the ten new EU members that joined the bloc on 1 May 2004, is the first country to ratify the document after EU leaders decided in June to put the ratification process on ice following the rejection of the document in both the French and Dutch referendums.

Luxembourg is next up to face the EU charter with a referendum on 10 July.

Out of the 11 countries which have ratified the document so far, six are new member states - Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Cyprus - while only one country, Spain, has approved it by referendum.

Malta

Malta's Labour party will decide at an extraordinary general conference over the weekend whether to back ratification of the treaty.

Delegates of the party appear split ahead of the secret ballot with former party leader Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici arguing against the constitution while the current leadership of the party is in favour.

The Malta Labour Party fought against membership of the EU, but lost the battle in a referendum.

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