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Last Updated: Friday, 31 December, 2004, 23:07 GMT
France to get EU vote 'by summer'
French President Jacques Chirac
Analysts say a 'yes' vote in France is not guaranteed
President Jacques Chirac has promised to give the French people a vote on the EU constitution "before the summer".

In a New Year's address on television Mr Chirac said: "You, the sovereign people, will be called on to choose your own destiny."

The EU treaty aims to make the bloc more efficient following its expansion to 25 nations in May 2004, but it has met resistance in several countries.

Some states are aiming to ratify it in parliament, others with a referendum.

Only Lithuania and Hungary - both new members - have ratified it so far, both with parliamentary votes.

If any country votes "no", it could in theory stop the whole project in its tracks.

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