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France parliament clears way for EU reform treaty vote

[JURIST] The French Senate and National Assembly [official websites, in French] voted 560-181 at a special parliamentary session Monday to pass an amendment [text, in French] to the French Constitution [text, English version] that paves the way for France to adopt the new EU reform treaty [JURIST news archive], properly known as the Treaty of Lisbon [official website; PDF text]. The amendment deletes reference in the French Constitution to the failed European constitution [JURIST news archive], which French voters rejected in a national referendum [JURIST report] in 2005. Of the 893 senators and members of parliament present at Monday's vote, 152 abstained from voting on the amendment. Many Socialists said they abstained because they support ratification of the treaty by means of another national referendum rather than by parliamentary vote. The National Assembly and Senate have scheduled votes on adoption of the treaty for Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Leaders from the 27 countries that make up the European Union signed the reform treaty [JURIST report] in December, but all member countries must ratify the document before it can take effect. Hungary became the first EU member to ratify [JURIST report] the treaty on December 18. EUobserver has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

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