Bulgaria Ratifies Lisbon Treaty; European Commission Commends Approval

March 22, 2008 9:09 a.m. EST

D.C. Morales – AHN News Writer

Brussels, Belgium (AHN) – The Bulgarian parliament ratified on Friday the Lisbon Treaty, by a vote of 199-15 with one abstention, becoming the sixth European Union member to adopt the treaty.

The five other E.U. members that have approved the Lisbon Treaty are France, Malta, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia. If the other 21 E.U. members will endorse the treaty, it will be enforced in January next year.

The Lisbon Treaty was signed by E.U. heads of state last December that have vowed to ratify it before European Parliament elections next year to erase doubts about the region’s future direction.

The treaty will streamline the E.U.’s operations by cutting the size of the European Parliament, limiting the use of national vetoes and creating a post of more permanent president and European foreign policy heads. It will make E.U.’s much-needed institutional reforms possible.

Meanwhile, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso welcomed the Bulgarian parliament’s ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

He said in a statement, “I would like to congratulate Bulgaria on the successful approval of the Treaty of Lisbon by the Parliament today. The first year of membership of the E.U. has brought significant benefits to Bulgaria.”

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