Overseas France refers to areas that, while politically a part of France, are geographically located outside of Europe. They can be remembered by an acronym, DROM-COM, which stands for "Overseas Departments and Regions — Overseas Collectivities". These territories have different legal status and are all represented in the French Parliament except those territories that do not have permanent inhabitants. Aside from the Regions of Metropolitan France, there are five (5) overseas regions, five (5) overseas collectivities, one (1) special status region and one (1) overseas uninhabited territory.
Difference Between Regions, Collectivities, and Other
- French Guiana
Overseas regions refer to areas that have powers equal to those held by parts of the metropolitan France in that they have representation in the French Parliament in the ESC, they elect a member of the European Parliament, and their primary currency is the euro.
- French Polynesia
- Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
- Wallis and Futana
The French overseas collectivities are a first-order administrative division of France known as COM. Since they are integral to France COMs, they have representation in the National Assembly, Senate, and also the Economic and Social Council. They are however not part of the European Union and do not choose the member of the European Parliament (except for Saint Martin). The currency is also different as the COMs from the Pacific use CFP franc whereas those from the Atlantic use the euro.
- New Caledonia
Some territories have a special status in that they are neither overseas regions nor overseas collectivities. An example of this is New Caledonia.
- French Southern and Antarctic Lands
The only overseas territory of France is the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, which have no permanent population.
These overseas territories have enabled France to be in a significant control of more maritime resources hence boosting its economic status. The overseas France accounts for 96.7% the republic’s economic exclusive zone. These territories have also increased the French population as in 2013 census shows that there were 2,691,000 France overseas inhabitants.