Dutch voters could be the first in the EU to cast ballots on whether the bloc should adopt the constitution that EU leaders decided on Friday.
The Netherlands is likely to be among the first EU member states to hold a referendum on the Constitution - and is set to do so before the end of this year, during its own EU presidency. A senior source in the Dutch Foreign Ministry told the EUobserver that the EU poll is likely to be held in December 2004 - the last month of the Dutch EU presidency which kicks off in July. One of the initiators of the Dutch EU referendum, the Green member of the Dutch parliament Farah Karimi, told De Volkskrant on Tuesday that "if everything works out well," the referendum could even take place as early as November. However, other sources point out that the actual moment will depend on the pace of work by EU and Dutch translators and legal experts, which first have to work on the precise text of the Constitution. (EUobserver.com)