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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April, 2003, 19:22 GMT 20:22 UK
Poland sets referendum date
Pro-EU rally in Polish village
Support for EU membership is rising
Polish voters will decide on their nation's entry into the European Union in a referendum on 7-8 June, the country's parliament has decided.

Deputies in the Sejm, or lower house, voted by 366 votes to 16 in favour of the measure despite some resistance from small anti-EU parties.

They opted for a two-day vote in the hope of increasing turn-out.

Last week just 46% voted when a similar referendum in Hungary was approved.

Before the vote Prime Minister Leszek Miller said Poles would have the chance to "express themselves directly" following the signing of the accession treaty by Poland and nine other candidate countries on Wednesday.

"The door to Europe has been opened, now we just have to walk through it," he said.

Recent polls suggest support for EU membership has increased to more than 65%.

However, a turn-out of at least 50% is needed to make the vote valid.

Failing this, the parliament will have to ratify entry by a two-thirds' majority.


SEE ALSO:
Maltese back EU entry
09 Mar 03  |  Europe
Hungarians say 'yes' to EU
12 Apr 03  |  Europe
Hungary's EU apathy
14 Apr 03  |  Europe
Slovenia votes for EU and Nato
24 Mar 03  |  Europe
Hurdles on road to EU expansion
14 Dec 02  |  Europe


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