Overseas collectivity

The French overseas collectivities (collectivité d'outre-mer or COM) are first-order administrative divisions of France, like the French regions, but have a semi-autonomous status. The COMs include some former French overseas colonies and other French overseas entities with a particular status, all of which became COMs by constitutional reform on 28 March 2003. The COMs differ from overseas regions and overseas departments, which have the same status as metropolitan France but are located outside Europe. As integral parts of France, overseas collectivities are represented in the National Assembly, Senate and Economic and Social Council. Though some are outside the European Union, all can vote to elect members of the European Parliament (MEPs). (All of France became one multi-member EU constituency in 2019.) The Pacific COMs use the CFP franc, a currency pegged to the euro, whereas the Atlantic COMs use the euro itself. As of 31 March 2011, there were five COMs:

Former COMs and overseas territories

  • Mayotte was a COM from 1976 until 31 March 2011, when it became an overseas department.[1]
  • New Caledonia was classified as an overseas territory beginning in 1946, but as a result of the 1998 Nouméa Accord, it gained a special status (statut particulier or statut original) in 1999. A New Caledonian citizenship was established, and a gradual transfer of power from the French state to New Caledonia itself was begun, to last from fifteen to twenty years.

Table of overseas collectivities and sui generis collectivity

Overseas collectivityCapital
 French PolynesiaPapeete
 Saint BarthélemyGustavia
Saint MartinMarigot
 Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Pierre
 Wallis and FutunaMata Utu
Sui generis collectivityCapital
 New CaledoniaNouméa

See also


  1. Benoît Hopquin (31 March 2011). "Mayotte accède à son statut de département dans la confusion". Le Monde. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
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