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Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 18:51 UK

Danish, German MPs back EU treaty

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag (24 April 2008)
Germany's upper house or Bundesrat will make a final decision on ratification

The Danish parliament has approved the EU's Lisbon Treaty by a margin of 90-25. The final stage of ratification will be taken by the Queen.

German MPs also backed the treaty which will go to the upper house in May.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said under the treaty "we are creating no more and no less than a new foundation for Europe".

But the upper house of the Czech parliament voted to delay a vote and first ask the constitutional court whether it was in line with Czech law.

The Czech senate is controlled by the party of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and some members argue that the document limits the country's sovereignty.

THE TREATY'S PROGRESS
Ratified: Hungary, Slovenia, Malta, Romania, France, Bulgaria, Austria, Slovakia and Portugal
Approved by parliament: Denmark, Poland

The Lisbon Treaty has to be ratified by all 27 EU member states before it is due to come into force on 1 January 2009.

Designed to replace the ill-fated EU constitution, it aims to make the European Union's institutions more efficient.

The Irish Republic is the only EU country to have a referendum, on 12 June.

Portugal became the ninth EU member state to ratify the treaty on Wednesday.





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