Wednesday

16th Oct 2019

Estonia to complete ratification of EU constitution in May

Estonia is set to complete the ratification of the EU constitution in May, becoming the 15th member state to adopt the treaty.

The country's three-party ruling coalition decided on Monday (18 April) to press ahead with the second parliamentary reading on the EU charter.

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The move will finalise the ratification process in Estonia, the vice-chairman of the Reform party, Meelis Atonen, told journalists on Tuesday.

Finland is likely to follow suit before it takes over the EU presidency from Austria in July.

Fourteen member states have already ratified the constitution: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

But French and Dutch citizens rejected the charter last year, prompting EU leaders to call for a "pause of reflection" on the new treaty, which must be ratified by all 25 member states to enter into force.

The Austrian presidency is set to evaluate the first phase of the reflective pause at its June summit.

But the country's foreign minister, Ursula Plassnik, indicated in March that Vienna is unlikely to come up with a miracle solution to the crisis.

Meanwhile, Berlin is preparing a new strategy for reviving the constitution in the first half of 2007, German media report.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet aims to put the charter in place across Europe by 2009, possibly under the new name "Basic treaty for Europe" German daily Die Welt has reported.

Estonia ratifies EU constitution

Estonia has become the 15th country to ratify the EU constitution when its parliament voted with a clear majority in favour of the treaty on Tuesday.

Nine Catalan separatist leaders given long jail terms

Spain's Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan leaders to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition and misuse of public funds over their role in Catalonia's 2017 bid for independence. The possible legal immunity of some MEPs remains unanswered.

Hungarian opposition wins Budapest in blow to Orban

Budapest joins Istanbul and Warsaw by having an opposition mayor to a strongman illiberal leader, after a united opposition serves a shock blow across several towns in local elections in Hungary.

Commission takes Poland to court on eve of election

As Poland's combative Law and Justice party faces elections this Sunday, the commission once again sends a case on its domestic judiciary reforms to the European Court of Justice for breaking EU rules.

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