French overseas territories

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The French overseas territories , French La France d'outre-mer (German also overseas France ), are parts of the French national territory outside Europe. Essentially, these are former French colonies . In total, about 2.65 million people live there (January 2010).


France and its overseas territories

In French , the overseas territories are formally referred to as la France d'outre-mer . Until the constitutional reform of March 23, 2003, the official designation was Départements d'outre-mer - Territoires d'outre-mer or les Départements et Territoires d'outre-mer (DOM-TOM) , which is still common today. The French overseas territories are divided into DROM, DOM-ROM, COM, CSG, TAAF and the Clipperton Island.

The responsible Ministère des Outre-mer (overseas ministry ) has existed since 1946, when it emerged as the direct successor to the French colonial ministry, founded in 1710 as the Bureau des Colonies . It was temporarily united with other ministries or only as a ministerial or state secretary; since 2012 it has been independent again.

All overseas territories, regardless of the division into départements d'outre-mer and collectivités d'outre-mer , are French national territory. If inhabited, they are represented in both chambers of the French Parliament and in the European Parliament . In European elections , all overseas territories together form a constituency (Circonscription Outre-Mer) in which three members of the European Parliament are elected. After all three seats were given to people from Réunion in 2004 , one seat each has been reserved for the overseas territories in the Atlantic , Indian and Pacific Oceans since the 2009 European elections .

Only the French Southern and Antarctic Territories and French Polynesia have their own official flags, flags of other areas are unofficial.

Départements et régions d'outre-mer (DROM, DOM-ROM)

Old town hall and victory column in the capital of Réunion

The départements et régions d'outre-mer have the same status as the regions and départements of mainland France. This is stated in Article 73 of the French Constitution . The areas belong to the territory of the European Union , but are not a Schengen area and do not belong to the EU excise tax area; they have the euro as their currency.

DROMs (areas that each have geographically congruent regions and departments with separate competencies):

DOM-ROMs (areas in which the competencies of a region and a department are combined in a collectivité territoriale unique ):

In a referendum on March 29, 2009, the majority of Mayotte's residents supported that Mayotte should receive the competences of the overseas departments and regions according to Article 73. As a result, Mayotte became the 101st department in France on March 31, 2011.

Collectivité d'outre-mer (COM)

The collectivités d'outre-mer sometimes have a very different status from one another. In general, however, they have autonomy , which is why French laws are not automatically valid there, but only after an express determination. In terms of foreign and defense policy, the COM are particularly dependent on France.

Until 2004, a distinction was made between overseas territory (TOM = Territoire d'outre-mer) and overseas land (POM = Pays d'outre-mer) . The second group used to include the African colonies. After only Polynesia was finally qualified as a POM, it became obsolete as a class. Polynesia also has its own parliamentary constitution.

In a certain sense, the COM, too, has the rank of a region and a department, which means that it sends members to the French parliament.

This area belongs to the territory of the European Union, but is non-Schengen area (currency: euro):

These areas do not belong to the territory of the European Union (currency: euro):

Until March 31, 2011, Mayotte in the Indian Ocean also belonged to this group.

These areas do not belong to the territory of the European Union (currency: CFP franc ):

Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy are also in the rank of a municipality , Saint-Pierre and Miquelon as well as Polynesia comprise several municipalities, Wallis and Futuna are three officially recognized traditional kingdoms.

Collectivité sui generis (CSG)

New Caledonia has a special regulation in Articles 76 and 77 of the Constitution and is a collectivité sui generis with the CFP franc as its currency.

Territoires d'outre-mer

Terres australes et antarctiques françaises (TAAF)

The French Southern and Antarctic Lands have their own administration in Saint-Pierre on Réunion . From a legal point of view, the TAAF are an overseas territory with a special status. The territory includes the islands of Amsterdam and Saint Paul , the Crozet Islands , the Kerguelen and Adélieland , which is located on the Antarctic continent , whose membership of the territory is not recognized under international law due to the Antarctic Treaty . The Îles Éparses have also been part of the area since February 21, 2007 . The area is uninhabited except for eight permanently manned stations with changing crews.

The TAAF are not part of the European Union .

Clipperton Island

Clipperton is state-owned by France. The island has no permanent residents and for nature conservation reasons it can only be entered in special cases.

French territories on St. Helena

see: French territories on St. Helena

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Result of the popular consultation on 29 mars 2009 in Mayotte. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on January 13, 2010 ; Retrieved June 26, 2016 (French).
  2. ^ French Embassy in Germany: Mayotte Island becomes the 101st French department. (No longer available online.), December 27, 2010, archived from the original on December 31, 2010 ; Retrieved January 1, 2011 .
  3. 2010/718 / EU: Decision of the European Council of October 29, 2010 to change the status of the island of Saint-Barthélemy vis-à-vis the European Union