Dutch Parliament Approves Treaty of Lisbon by Wide Margin

The Dutch parliament's lower house has approved the Treaty of Lisbon, a series of reforms proposed for the European Union, by a wide margin.

The lawmakers voted 111-39 in favor of the treaty on Thursday. It will now go to the upper house for final approval, which is seen as a formality.

The treaty would reduce the number of members of the European Commission, strengthen the authority of its president and foreign policy chief and increase policy areas in which decisions could be made by majority votes rather than requiring unanimous approval.

The Lisbon treaty was negotiated after voters in France and the Netherlands rejected the European Constitution in referendums in 2005. The Dutch Cabinet decided in September not to submit the new document to a referendum.