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Irish voters have strongly backed the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty. The endorsement will contribute to the further integration of some 500 million people in 27 countries and help put the EU project back on track. In the Oct. 2 referendum, an overwhelming 67.1 percent of the Irish voters voted “yes” while 32.9 percent voted “no.”

The treaty cannot take effect unless all 27 EU member states approve it; so far, the parliaments of most member states have done so. Ireland was the only member state that had to hold a referendum because of constitutional provisions. With Ireland’s “yes” vote, 25 member states have approved the treaty. The presidents of the Czech Republic and Poland have not yet signed on, although their parliaments have approved the treaty. Czech President Vaclav Klaus is a strong EU-skeptic. But coupled with pressure from other EU leaders, Ireland’s referendum results could sway him.

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