Bundestag approves EU Constitution

Friday, May 13, 2005

German parliament's lower house, the Bundestag, passed the European Union Constitution yesterday, with 569 yes votes, 23 against and 2 abstentions. Two-thirds majority was required to pass it.

The Constitution still needs to be passed through the Bundesrat, the upper house, before it is officially ratified by Germany.

The overwhelming support did not come as a surprise, since Germany, one of the founders of the pact, is one of the biggest EU supporters amongst all members. The German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, was quoted by Der Spiegel as saying: "Whoever wants more democracy in Europe must vote for the constitution." The Bundesrat is expected to pass the Constitution with similar ease on May 27.

All 25 Union members must ratify the European Constitution before it takes effect.