Wednesday

19th Jun 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.

EU urges Swiss to move on talks or face sanction

The EU commission tells Switzerland that clarifications to the draft deal are possible - but not renegotiations. The message is clear to 'Brexit' Britain as well: the Swiss model is over, there are no special agreements.

EU leaders task Tusk to find commission chief by June

With national leaders and the European Parliament divided over who to put forward for the commission presidency, the EU Council president will now start negotiations with all sides - hoping to come up with an answer by next month.

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