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Flemish MPs approve draft EU Constitution

9 February 2006

BRUSSELS — The Flemish Parliament cleared the last hurdle on Wednesday for Belgium’s formal ratification of the EU Constitution.

Flemish MPs approved the constitution with a large majority, with 84 votes in favour and 29 MPs opposed. One MP abstained from voting.

Only the extreme-right Flemish Interest MPs deputies rejected the constitution. One green Groen MP abstained, stressing there had been inadequate public debate about the constitution.

The parliamentary vote represented the last hurdle for the federal state of Belgium to formally ratify the charter. It means Belgium is close to becoming the 14th EU country to ratify the EU constitution.

Belgium’s upcoming ratification is a boost to supporters of the constitution, which has put on ice after French and Dutch ‘no’ voters rejected the document last year, the website euObserver reported.
“Now the constitution has been ratified by 14 member states, representing a majority of the citizens of the Union,” UK liberal MEP Andrew Duff said. Duff is the author of a European Parliament report aimed at reviving the charter.

The EU constitution had to be ratified by seven parliaments in Belgium: the Flemish parliament, Wallonian Parliament, French Community Parliament, the German-speaking community Parliament, the Brussels Parliament as well as the Belgian federal Parliament and Senate.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news