European Union leaders today signed the new EU constitution in a lavish ceremony held in Rome.
Heads of state and government took it in turn to sign the text in the same room where the Treaty of Rome was signed to establish the EU in 1957. Also present at the ceremony were the leaders of Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Croatia, the four candidate countries for joining the EU.
This is just the beginning for making the constitution a reality. The 25 member nations still have to ratify the document individually before it comes into effect, either by referendum or parliamentary vote.