[JURIST] Estonia on Tuesday became the fifteenth nation to ratify the European Constitution [text; JURIST news archive]. The ratification is expected to have little effect on the charter after rejections of the document by France [JURIST report] and the Netherlands [JURIST report] last year brought debate about the charter to a standstill, despite its approval by 12 other European countries [BBC report]. A spokesman for the European Commission welcomed the ratification and noted that it was "important to listen to the views of the countries that said 'no', but it is equally important to listen to the voices of the countries that said 'yes'."
The next European country scheduled to debate the EU constitution is Finland, which will also assume the rotating six-month presidency [official backgrounder] of the EU Council on July 1, 2006. Debate on the EU constitution is scheduled to begin in the Finnish parliament this week with a decision to follow by the end of May on whether to propose ratification. Reuters has more.