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President signs Lisbon Treaty

President Ivan Gašparovič signed the Lisbon Treaty on May 12, officially ratifying the document designed to revamp European Union institutions.

President Ivan Gašparovič signed the Lisbon Treaty on May 12, officially ratifying the document designed to revamp European Union institutions.

The treaty is aimed at streamlining decision-making in the bloc, which has grown from 15 to 27 members over the past four years. It must be ratified by all member states to take effect as of next year.

Attending the ceremony, Premier Robert Fico noted the treaty’s difficult path through Parliament. The opposition refused to support the treaty after the government pushed through a controversial Press Code that the opposition, media and human rights groups said infringes freedom of speech.

But parliament passed the treaty on April 10 after the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) broke ranks in exchange for changes to the proposed Education Act, which the SMK said would have adversely affected the Hungarian minority. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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