Appeal from Fort-de-France: received at the Élysée, elected officials commit to a “starting point” for deep change

The signatories of the appeal in Fort-de-France were received in the Elysée by Emmanuel Macron, but the Place Beauvau by Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior and Overseas. An agenda must be put in place to work on all issues in the Overseas Territories and fix a system that is considered outdated.

three dates and “a starting point” because of the great change demanded in the appeal of Fort-de-France. After an hour of discussion with Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior and Overseas Territories, the seven signatories were received within 45 minutes by the President of the Republic, before proceeding to a working dinner where the parliamentarians were also invited and prefects in territories outside the country. , as well as the Prime Minister and the Minister Delegate for Overseas Territories, Jean-François Carenco.

Last May, the presidents of the regions of Guadeloupe, Réunion, Mayotte, Martinique, Saint-Martin and Guyana asked to meet with the president to discuss“a profound change in policy” aid for the development of their poverty-stricken territories.

“I was very surprised by the openness”admitted Serge Letchimy, president of the executive council of Martinique, at the exit of the Élysée on Wednesday night. “We are very satisfied, because we want to be accepted by the President of the Republic and it is done”the president of the general council of Guadeloupe Ary Chalus was happy.

Five months after their solemn appeal, the signatories are reluctant to accept the president’s invitation, unconvinced by the proposed format. “The executive method is not appropriate for emergencies in our territories”estimated Guyanese MP Davy Rimane, who declined the invitation, as did his colleague from Guyana’s 1st constituency, Jean-Victor Castor, and Reunion MP Karine Le Bon.

Meeting on Tuesday night in Paris, the signatories of the appeal in Fort-de-France finally got an exchange with the President of the Republic, who “serves to set the course for a very profound change in the relationship between foreign countries and governments.”

The call to Fort-de-France is alive. We put politics back at the center of the debate. Now, we must translate this call into very concrete things.

Serge Letchimy, President of the Executive Council of Martinique

Cost of living, economic development, environment, education, security… “The door is open for an agenda” work on these themes, “but also and above all, on the issue of institutional and statutory developments”.

The government must look at a possible constitutional reform from 2023, linked mainly to the institutional future of New Caledonia, which has reached the end of the process established by the agreements of Matignon and Nouméa. “I have no taboos on institutional developments”committed the President of the Republic to the selection of representatives abroad.

The current model is saturated. If we want to restore the confidence of our population, encourage them and return them to the polls, we need to do some work on the ground in our respective territories and I think that tonight is a good start.

Ary Chalus, President of the General Council of Guadeloupe

“Now, we only ask for a strong position (…) that will allow the territories abroad to feel less forgotten”, recalled the president of the assembly of Guyana, Gabriel Serville. The Congress of French Guiana has begun work on the territory’s statutory evolution. “We are well on the way to accountability and dialogue, which should allow us to achieve the result we hope for.”

On the side of Saint-Martin, the president of the territorial council, Louis Mussington, explained that he insisted on the need to review the organic law but also on the question of poverty on his island, devastated by hurricane Irma there are five just a year. , in September 2017.

“We ask that a specific Mahora be recognized and that public policies be adapted to these needs in our territory”for his part stated by Ben Issa Ousseni, president of the council of the department of Mayotte. “Mayotte is not Martinique, it is not Guadeloupe, but it is not a classic metropolitan department either.” The former senator, who was not satisfied with the format of the meeting this Wednesday, proposed a second time to exchange with Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the congress of the regions of France, on September 15 and 16.

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