Swedish parliament ratifies Lisbon Treaty after debate
The Lisbon Treaty was...
The Swedish parliament ratified the European Union reform treaty late Thursday after a nine-hour debate, according to Monsters and Critics.com.
The Lisbon Treaty was approved by 243 legislators while 39 voted against. Thirteen members of the 349-seat legislature abstained while 54 members did not attend the vote.
EU Affairs Minister Cecilia Malmstrom, who had urged legislators to ratify the treaty, said it contained `new rules` and offered a `more efficient and open EU.`
Rejecting the treaty would mean that Sweden would have `poorer means of influencing decisions` and would lose its say, Malmstrom said.
Birgitta Ohlsson, member of Malmstrom`s Liberal Party, earlier said the treaty would make the EU more up-to-date.
Five of the seven parties in the foreign affairs committee a week ago supported approval of the Lisbon Treaty in accordance with the government`s recommendation.
In addition to the four parties in Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt`s ruling coalition, the treaty was also supported by the opposition Social Democrats even though eight of its members abstained.
Sven-Erik Osterberg of the Social Democrats, a former cabinet member, opened the debate saying it was `necessary to cooperate over borders.`
He added that his party wanted the EU to avert social dumping, the practice of importing goods from countries with weak labour standards.
The EU-sceptical Left Party and the Green Party oppose the treaty, but their 41 combined votes were not sufficient to prevent the ratification in the 349-seat legislature. They needed 59 votes to form a blocking minority.
Leftist Hans Linde compared the treaty to `Frankenstein`s monster,` citing the numerous efforts `to patch it up,` and said previous no votes in the Netherlands, France and Ireland should be respected.
The Lisbon Treaty is aimed to streamline decision-making in the bloc but cannot enter into force until all member states have ratified it. Ireland, where voters rejected it earlier this year, has yet to decide on a possible new vote.
Sweden is due to take over the six-month rotating EU presidency in July 2009.