[JURIST] The European Parliament [official website] Wednesday overwhelmingly endorsed the first proposed EU constitution [official European Convention website; PDF text]. Parliamentarians passed a resolution backing the constitution 500-137 in an initial stage of a ratification process that is expected to last up to two years. Read the European Parliament press release on the vote. The constitution will only come into effect if all 25 EU member states ratify it. Only two countries, Lithuania and Hungary, have as yet ratified the constitution. Ratification remains controversial in many key countries, such as France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Poland. The EU constitution was agreed upon last July, after a lengthy drafting process. Reuters has more. In a related story, the Spanish parliament today voted to authorize the Spsnish government to hold the first national referendum on the EU constitution on February 20. The vote will be non-binding. AP has more.