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EU Advances First Constitution

posted on October 29, 2004

European leaders this week signed the European Union's first constitution, a document designed to give the bloc a sharper international profile and speed up decision-making in a club now numbering 25 nations.

The treaty is the result of 28 months of sometimes acrimonious debate between the EU governments and now faces ratification in national parliaments. At least nine EU nations also plan to put it to a referendum, increasing chances that it may not take effect in 2007, as scheduled.

Meeting amid discord over the makeup of the next EU executive commission, the bloc's leaders signed the document in Rome.

Tags: constitution European Union news politics