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Slovakia: Parliament Ratifies EU Accession Treaty

Bratislava, 1 July 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Slovakia's parliament ratified the European Union accession treaty today, clearing the way for the country's membership in the organization next year. The vote was 129-10, with one lawmaker abstaining. The 10 lawmakers who voted against the treaty were members of the Communist Party, which had previously held a pro-EU stance. The party's lawmakers argued today that Slovakia should be allowed to join under more favorable conditions.

Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda praised today's vote and called the treaty "one of the most important documents in the modern history of the country."

Slovakia, which gained independence in 1993 after the former Czechoslovakia split into two states, is one of 10 countries expected to join the EU next year.