A leading anti-independence party in New Caledonia has called for the Congress to set the date and formulate the question for this year's independence referendum.
The Caledonia Together Party said this should be done before the signatories to the Noumea Accord meet in Paris in late March.
A leading party member Philippe Dunoyer told local television that this would send a strong and useful signal.
The 1998 Noumea Accord provides for the vote to be held at the behest of Congress from 2014 but no later than November 2018.
If the Congress fails to agree on a date it will be set by the French state.
The referendum question is tied to the Noumea Accord which expires with a vote on whether New Caledonia wants to attain full sovereignty.