The German parliament has approved new legislation that will enable lawmakers to ratify the so-called Lisbon Treaty. The accord is designed to streamline operations for the further integration of the European Union.
The vote was necessary after the country's highest court in June ruled that an existing German law intended to allow lawmakers to ratify the treaty had to be amended to give parliament more decision-making powers in Brussels.
The Lisbon Treaty must be ratified by all 27 member states of the European Union before it can take effect. Aside from Germany, the ratification process must still be completed in Ireland, the Czech Republic and Poland.
The legislation, passed on Tuesday, now goes to the upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, where representatives of Germany's 16 states are scheduled to vote on it on Sept. 18.
If it passes there, as expected, the law then goes to President Horst Koehler, whose signature would make Germany's ratification of the Lisbon Treaty official.
Editor: Nancy Isenson
Andrea Eskau has won the first gold medal for the German team at the 11th Winter Paralympics in Sochi. The Games were officially opened by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
For the first time in Europe-wide elections, candidates are running for the office of President of the EU Commission. But the election campaign could be a dead end, warns DW's Christian Trippe.
Aircraft maker Boeing has said technicians found hairline cracks in some of its Dreamliner planes currently under production. The company says it is confident that in-service aircraft are not affected.