The institutional, economic and social issues relating to these territories will be discussed during a working dinner on Wednesday 7 September.
The overseas departments and regions, considered in spite of themselves as the “forgotten by the Republic», are determined to make themselves heard during this new five-year term. This Wednesday, September 7, 57 overseas elected officials are invited to a working dinner with Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee. “The president will encourage a dialogue that will continue to arrive at concrete solutions”we explain at the Palace, before this official meeting.
This exchange stems in particular from a public letter, “The call from Fort-de-France”, signed in May 2022 by the presidents of six overseas territories. These elected officials ask “a profound change in the state’s overseas policy”. A call to which the president responded by this time of exchange, where the institutional, economic and social issues relating to these territories will be addressed. “The Head of State shows listening and openness”, we say at the Elysée. But no precise measure has yet been unveiled, despite the stated objective of setting up “concrete, quick and people-perceptible pragmatic solutions”.
“The initiative is happy”underlines the deputy LR of Mayotte Mansour Kamardine, who hopes for concrete actions on the part of the head of state. “We don’t expect miraclesspecifies meanwhile the LREM deputy of Guadeloupe Olivier Serva. A meeting of two hours around a dinner, it will not give much, but it is a first stone which calls others.
Above all, this meeting must fuel a dialogue. During this meeting, the elected officials and the overseas prefects will be in the presence, in addition to the Head of State, of Élisabeth Borne, of Gerald Darmanin and the Minister Delegate for Overseas Territories, Jean-François Carenco. “The idea is to listen to them, to hold a working meeting to build perspectives vis-à-vis the claims of each of the territories and to discuss the orientations of the President of the Republic on the subject”we say to the Ministry of Overseas.
“Implementation of announcements”
Because the overseas territories present different problems but face many difficulties. In Guadeloupe, access to water is an important subject, specifies Olivier Serva, as is the reintegration of unvaccinated nursing staff. The Mayotte archipelago was the scene of heavy violence this summer, which led Gérald Darmanin to go there and urgently deploy a squadron of mobile gendarmes. “This visit was accompanied by important announcements to bring order to Mayotte. It’s a good start, but we are now waiting for the implementation of these announcements., specifies Estelle Youssouffa, MP for the archipelago. Prior to the exchange with the president, the elected official believes that “subjects are on the table and must be decided by the Élysée”.
For this parliamentarian, “we must hear the social distress that has been expressed in the overseas territories”and “don’t get the wrong discussion”. By choosing to move forward on “concrete issues”as “the violence that we suffer, the difficulties of access to health and the absence of running water in certain territories”, rather than dwelling on the institutional issues, highlighted by the appeal of Fort-de-France. Which “must not be used as an excuse for inertia in our social rights”. An observation shared by Mansour Kamardine, for whom this statement is “out of step with the local concerns of the Mahorais”.
This Wednesday, Emmanuel Macron will have many elected officials at his table, listening and on the lookout for his positions. “Like Saint Thomas, we wait to see to believe”announces Estelle Youssouffa. “It’s the last chance”predicts Mansour Kamardin.