The Finnish parliament has ratified the European Constitution, becoming the 16th of the 25 EU member states to approve the measure. Its MPs voted by 125 to 39 to approve the Constituton, while 4 members abstained. Official approval is required by the Finnish President, but this is a formality.
The Finns have presided over the presidency of the EU since June of this year, and the 'Yes' vote brings their tenure to a positive close. Germany takes over the reins in January, and is expected to push ahead with a revised Constitution, which proponents hope will be in place by 2008, in time for the appointment of a new Commission and election of a new Parliament in 2009. Supporters of further expansion are equally keen for a settlement to be in place before the eventual accession of Croatia, which may join as early as 2010.