(Nov. 28, 2008) On November 21, 2008, the European Union came closer to its ultimate goal of ratification of the Lisbon Treaty – whose purpose is to restructure EU institutions to accommodate an enlarged union of 27 members – through the vote in favor of ratification by the Swedish Parliament. Two hundred members voted for the measure, 39 against, and 67 abstained.
The Lisbon ratification process is still behind schedule, however; it was originally expected that the treaty would be ready for entry into effect at the beginning of 2009. Thus far, it has been ratified by 24 EU members, with the exception of Ireland, which rejected the treaty through a referendum held in June 2008; Poland; and the Czech Republic, whose ratification is still pending. Ireland is working towards proposing a plan to resolve the current stalemate at the next summit of EU leaders, perhaps by holding another referendum on the issue. (Sweden Ratifies EU Lisbon Treaty, BBC NEWS, Nov. 21, 2008, available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7741229.stm.)