Thursday, September 10, 2009
On Tuesday, the Bundestag overwhelmingly approved national legislation incorporating the Treaty of Lisbon, a major step towards the entry into force of the European Union's attempt at comprehensive institutional reform. The vote by the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany's parliament, follows this summer's favorable ruling on the Treaty by the German Constitutional Court. Next week, the Bundesrat (upper house) will vote on the treaty; if approved, German President Horst Kohler could sign it into law in advance of Germany's September 27 elections.
Germany is one of only four of the 27 EU Member States not to have approved the Treaty. In Ireland, the first step to ratification will be an October 2 general referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. During the last referendum, in June 2008, Irish voters rejected the Treaty, 46% to 53%. The ratifications of Poland and the Czech Republic await only Presidential approval; in both cases, the Presidents have stated their intention to withhold their approval unless Irish voters approve the Treaty.
The vote in the Bundestag was 446 in favor, 46 opposed.