Italy became the 23 rd of 27 European Union member states to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon with a unanimous vote by the senate on 31 July. The treaty had already passed in the chamber of deputies on 23 July.
The Treaty of Lisbon is designed to streamline the European legislative process, give greater powers to the the presidency of the European Council, provide for a single entity for foreign affairs and lay the groundwork for a common defense programme.
The Treaty of Lisbon suffered a serious setback in June, when it failed to pass a referendum in Ireland. As the treaty requires unanimous ratification by all member countries in order to come into force January 2009, its future remains uncertain.
The remaining three countries who have yet to ratify the treaty are Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic.