Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Tuesday, 1 April 2008 18:13 UK

Polish deputies approve EU treaty

Polish President Lech Kaczynski addressing MPs
The president praised the treaty after withdrawing earlier objections

The Polish parliament has overwhelmingly backed the EU reform treaty, after weeks of argument.

The opposition Law and Justice party had threatened to vote against the treaty, fearing it could place limits on Polish sovereignty.

President Lech Kaczynski also objected, putting forward an alternative bill before a compromise was reached.

The bill will now go to the upper house and the president has said he will ratify it "with the greatest pleasure".

In a rare address to parliament before the vote, Mr Kaczynski said that adopting the Lisbon Treaty would be "good news for Poland and good news for Europe".

The treaty, which was signed by European Union leaders in Lisbon in December 2007, aims to make EU institutions more efficient.

It has already been ratified by Hungary, Slovenia, Malta, Romania, France and Bulgaria.

Last month, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk suggested that there may have to be a referendum on the treaty.

Now the only referendum is due to take place in Ireland in June.

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