Poland and Malta, who are expected to join the European Union next year, are seeking to retain independence over their domestic abortion laws. Yesterday the head of the Catholic Church in Poland, Cardinal Jozef Glemp, urged the European Union to allow his country to set its own regulations on abortion. He wants the EU constitution to explicitly state the 'separateness' of Poland's policy toward unborn children. In December, Malta, another of the nine countries signing up to join the EU in 2004, negotiated a clause safeguarding its ban on abortion. Ireland currently relies on Protocol 17 to the Treaty of Rome, which says community law cannot override the Irish Constitution's prohibition of abortion.
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