Belgium to hold EU constitution referendum

1st June 2004, Comments 0 comments

1 June 2004, BRUSSELS – Belgium will hold a referendum on plans to adopt a constitution for the European Union even though the consultation will have no legal weight, the Belgian Prime Minister confirmed on Monday.

1 June 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgium will hold a referendum on plans to adopt a constitution for the European Union even though the consultation will have no legal weight, the Belgian Prime Minister confirmed on Monday.

Speaking on Flemish radio station VRT, Verhofstadt confirmed that Belgians would be given the chance to vote on whether or not they wanted to accept the planned new constitution, probably in September.

But he also pointed out that the results of the poll would not be legally binding, as the Belgian constitution does not recognise the power of referenda.

EU leaders are expected to approve the draft constitution when they meet for talks in Brussels later this month.

If they do indeed adopt the text, it will then have to be ratified by all 25 of the EU's member countries, either by referendum or in parliament.

Aside from Belgium, five other EU countries – the UK, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland and Portugal - have so far indicated they will hold referenda on the constitution.

If a single EU country fails to ratify the constitution, it will not enter into force.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news

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