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European Parliament approves EU constitution

WITH a majority of 500 votes, the European Parliament yesterday approved the European Constitutional Treaty. 137 voted against the treaty and 40 abstained, including three Slovak MEPs nominated by the ruling Christian Democratic Movement (KDH).

The remaining 11 Slovak MEPs supported the constitution.

The vote on the constitution is non-binding, yet analysts see it as strong encouragement to EU members to ratify the constitution in their national parliaments or in national referenda. The Constitutional Treaty is scheduled to take effect in November 2006 after all member states have ratified the document.

According to the SME daily, KDH's MEPs Ján Hudacký, Anna Záborská, and Miroslav Mikolášik, belong to a large group of critics who fear that the constitution is the basis for a European superstate. They would also like the document to specifically mention Europe’s Christian heritage.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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