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EU-leiders ondertekenen Europese Grondwet in Rome op 20 november 2004 (en)

The new European Constitution will be signed in Rome on 20 November in the same palace the founding Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957.

The date was announced by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi following a meeting with French president Jacques Chirac on Friday (2 July).

"We will gather together on November 20 in Rome for the signing ceremony in the same palace, the same room as was used for the signature of the Treaty of Rome in 1957", said Mr Berlusconi in a press conference.

For his part, Mr Chirac said he "welcomed" the fact that it would be signed in Italy's capital.

Until November, legal experts and translators will work on the Constitution text to fine tune it after it was agreed by EU leaders at a summit on 17-18 June.

The signing date is significant as it is two years after this day that the Constitution is supposed to go into effect - if it is ratified by all 25 member states.

The original Treaty of Rome established the European Economic Community - which will be replaced by this new Constitution.

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