Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, previously united as one arrondissement of Guadeloupe, have become two separate overseas collectivities of France. This is the result of a law enacted by the French Parliament on 2007-02-21, following a referendum held on 2003-12-07. The law took effect on 2007-07-15 with the installation of the first elected councils. The U.N. Secretariat has listed them as separate countries, and ISO has issued country codes for them.
The French Overseas Ministry (source ) explains that France's overseas possessions can be governed by Article 73 or Article 74 of the French Constitution. Article 73 applies to overseas departments and regions (every overseas department is also a region). The principle of Article 73 is legislative assimilation: the collectivity is governed by the same law as the mother country. Article 74 applies to overseas collectivities. Its principle is legislative specificity: the collectivity is subject to laws addressing its peculiar situation.
The 2003 referendum asked residents of Martinique and Guadeloupe whether either of those monodepartmental regions should become a territorial collectivity, although still remaining under Article 73. They voted for the status quo, although by a narrow margin in Martinique. It asked residents of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy whether those islands should remain communes of Guadeloupe, or become overseas collectivities under Article 74. Both islands voted overwhelmingly for the change.
Guadeloupe, formerly a French colony, became an overseas department of France on 1946-03-19. Its status is theoretically on a par with the European French departments. Guadeloupe has a NUTS code of FR91 (as a region, or FR910 as a department), a department code of 971, and postal codes of the form 971xx, all of which are extensions of the French system. Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin voted in 2003 to separate from Guadeloupe, and they became overseas collectivities of France in their own right on 2007-02-21.
Named by Christopher Columbus for the monastery Santa Maria de Guadalupe in Estremadura.
Guadeloupe is divided into two arrondissements.
Note: total populations include Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin, which were part of Guadeloupe at that time.
See the Communes of Guadeloupe page.
As of 2006, the territory was further subdivided into 34 communes, which were in turn divided into 42 cantons. With the fission of Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin, there are now 32 communes.
GP.SS, capital Marigot) split into two overseas collectivities: Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy. They no longer form part of either the department or the region of Guadeloupe.
|Saint Martin & Saint Barthelemy||8,929||9,117||5,445||7,000||8,682||11,131||33,556||35,930|
In 1936, Pointe-à-Pitre is combined with Basse-Terre.
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