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France: Overseas departments and territories

France d'Outre-Mer

Last modified: 2002-01-18 by ivan sache
Keywords: france | overseas departments and territories | outre-mer |
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[French Flag]by António Martins

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All citizens of the Overseas entities are entitled to similar full French citizenship as Metropolitan citizens.

Overseas departments (Départements d'Outre-Mer - DOM)

all have the same status as Metropolitan departments (except for a few local exceptions - generally fiscal). They are therefore administrated by a préfet and one or more sous-préfets representing the French government, and ruled by a Conseil Général (General Council) constituted of Conseillers Généraux (General Councellors) elected by universal suffrage on a local scale.

Each of the four DOMs constitutes a Region.

Overseas territorial collectivities (Collectivités territoriales d'Outre-Mer)

have almost the same status as the DOMs, but without Region status. The definitive status of Mayotte is still unresolved since the island is revendicated by the Republic of Comoros.

Overseas territories (Territoires d'Outre-Mer - TOM)

TOMs have a higher level of local authonomy.

New Caledonia

New Caledonia was fromerly a TOM and became in 1998 a special autonomous entity within the French Republic,with an executive and legislative capacity of its own.

Flag of the Minister (or Junior Secretary) for Overseas Departments and Territories

[Minister for Overseas]by Ivan Sache

The honour mark of the Minister/Secretary of State for the Overseas Departments and Territories has a ratio is 1/1 (square). This flag derives from the honour mark of the governor-generals in the former colonial empire which was almost similar (same ratio and composition): the only difference was that the Tricolore in canton was then the French naval ensign (blue 30 / white 33 / red 37), while it is today a Tricolore with equal stripes.

Pierre Gay, 16 June 1999