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At present, the EU is founded on four basic treaties that lay down the rules by which it has to operate. These treaties are big and complex, and EU leaders intend to replace them with a single, shorter, simpler document spelling out the EU's purposes and aims and stating clearly who does what. This new document (technically known as the 'constitutional Treaty') will be rather similar to the constitution of a country - even though the EU is not, and does not aim to be, a single country. The text of this new EU Constitution was agreed in June 2004 and signed by all the member state governments in October 2004. It had to came into force in 2006, but it was not ratified by all the Member States. in 2007, this Constitution has been replaced by the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty. This text should be ratified by all Member States before that it will come into force in 2009.

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