Overseas country of France
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This article is part of the series on
Administrative divisions of France

(incl. overseas regions)

(incl. overseas departments)

Urban communities
Agglomeration communities
Commune communities
Syndicates of New Agglomeration

Associated communes
Municipal arrondissements

Others in Overseas France

Overseas collectivities
Sui generis collectivity
Overseas country
Overseas territory
Clipperton Island

Overseas country or Overseas land[1] (French: pays d'outre-mer or POM) is the new designation for the overseas collectivity of French Polynesia. French Polynesia was formerly an overseas territory until the constitutional reform on 28 March 2003 created the overseas collectivities. Then, on 27 February 2004 a law was passed giving French Polynesia the particular designation of overseas country while recalling that it belongs to the category of overseas collectivity. However, the Constitutional Council of France ruled that this description was merely a designation and not a legal status, as that would have been unconstitutional.

The territory's new status meant a certain autonomy for French Polynesia in the Pacific region which translated into the transfer of new areas of legal responsibility (civil law, commercial law, labour law) while protecting its autonomy regarding health, development and town planning and the environment. In addition, they now have the power to oppose the application in French Polynesia of laws voted by the French Parliament which do not respect these areas of responsibility. Furthermore, it established French Polynesian citizenship based on permanent residency, which is a requirement for the right to vote in regional elections. However, France maintains control over justice, security and public order, currency, defence, and foreign policy.

New Caledonia, which has the unique status of a sui generis collectivity, is also sometimes incorrectly referred to as an overseas country. However, if the people of New Caledonia choose to remain part of France in a referendum on independence scheduled for 2014 or later, the community may become an overseas country.

Bibliography

  • Frédéric Monera, L'idée de République et la jurisprudence du Conseil constitutionnel - Paris : L.G.D.J., 2004 [1]-[2];
  1. ^ The French pays is ambiguous; see The CIA World Factbook or the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for examples.

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