Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa speaks at the parliament. Slovenia has become the second European Union country to ratify the Lisbon treaty. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
BELGRADE, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Slovenian
parliament ratified on Tuesday the Lisbon Treaty, enabling Slovenia to be the
second EU country to ratify the document after Hungary, said reports reaching
here from the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.
The document, which was endorsed in a 74-to-6 vote,
is to ensure efficient operation of the enlarged European Union and strengthen
its role in the world, the Slovenian news agency STA reported.
The endorsement has already been welcomed by
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, who told the MPs earlier on Tuesday that
all 27 EU countries needed to ratify the treaty in order for it to enter into
Jansa said the treaty included the majority of the
contents but not the form of its ill-fated precursor, the constitutional treaty,
which was rejected at referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005.
One of the basic points of the new document is
increasing the role of deciding by a qualified majority on the back of
consensus-based decision making.
The treaty also omits a direct reference to
constitutionality, which caused fear among the French and Dutch that the EU was
changing into a super state. No article of the treaty also mentions EU symbols,
such as its flag or national anthem.
On the other hand, the Lisbon Treaty maintains the
post of the EU foreign minister (renamed high representative for foreign affairs
and security policy) and minor adjustments to the number of seats in the
European Parliament (750 plus 1, with the speaker excluded from the quota of
It also includes a reduced number of commissioners
and the option to withdraw from the bloc. It gives the EU a unified legal
identity that will allow the bloc to sign international treaties and contains
provisions on strengthening the role of the European Parliament.
In order for the treaty to enter into force it must
be ratified by all member states. In most countries the decision is to be taken
by parliaments, while Ireland, bound by its legislation, is to hold a
Monitoring the ratification of the treaty is one of
Slovenia's priorities as the EU president during the first half of 2008.