The French overseas collectivities (French: collectivité d'outre-mer abbreviated as 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 six 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 collectivity Capital
  French Polynesia Papeete
  Saint Barthélemy Gustavia
  Saint Martin Marigot
  Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint-Pierre
  Wallis and Futuna Mata Utu
  French Southern and Antarctic Lands Saint-Pierre
Sui generis collectivity Capital
  New Caledonia Nouméa

See also



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