French President, Jacque Chirac, used his address on the occasion of Bastille Day to announce that France will hold a referendum during the second half of 2005 on whether France should ratify the EU Constitutional Treaty. Countries which have already announced they will hold referenda are the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK.
Whilst I remain generally in favour of the notion of having an EU Constitutional Treaty, I have grave reservations about the draft that has been agreed so far. However, it is absolutely essential that all EU citizens have an opportunity to say whether they want it or not, so I welcome the French announcement. Politicians must accept the popular verdict, whatever it is. However, all citizens likewise have a responsibility to inform themselves of what is being proposed so they are in a position to vote in their national referenda, if one if to be held in their own country. Visit the relevant EU website section here - it is heavy reading (I know!), but if poeple don't take responsibility then it will be too late to complain later about what has been decided.