CORSICA. Discussions between Gérald Darmanin and the elected officials of Corsica have begun with a view to reviewing the status of the community. From there to go to autonomy? The option is on the table.
After the words, the beginning of the actions. Gérald Darmanin is in Corsica, Friday July 22, 2022, for a quick visit to the state services on the island, in particular those responsible for the fight against organized crime. A symbolic visit by the Minister of the Interior, the day after a first working meeting in Paris to discuss the future status of Corsica. About twenty elected officials and island representatives, Gilles Simeoni – president of the executive council of Corsica – in the lead, exchanged for four hours with the number 3 of the government, in accordance with the commitments made by the latter to review the status of the community , he who, in March, said he was ready to go as far as autonomy. But the tensions that had erupted following the death in prison of Yvan Colonna (the assassin of the former prefect of Corsica Claude Erignac) then the electoral period had delayed the start of the work. From now on, it is at a very regular pace that the two parties will meet to move forward on the file: a meeting every six weeks, announced Gérald Darmanin, each dedicated to a theme (economic, institutional, education, housing, training, environment…). “I’m betting on a short year to get us to agree on this method” declared the Minister of the Interior in Corsica Morning. From there to giving birth to an agreement on autonomy?
When could Corsica become autonomous?
In March 2022, Gérald Darmanin clearly opened the door to autonomy for Corsica. But while the State, which he represents, as well as local elected officials get to the heart of the matter, theme by theme, the Minister of the Interior insisted on recalling that “autonomy is not simply symbols. Sometimes it also means managing your social security, your unemployment insurance, your pension fund, your tax system… Are we well aware of what that means?”, he asked in Corsica Morning. However, if the talks go well, common ground could be found within a few months. The course for the end of 2022 had even been announced in March. “I proposed to President Simeoni that by the end of 2022, if we are in charge, we can put an end to these discussions around the status of autonomy, whatever it is,” said the tenant of Matignon. However, given the delay in the light of the events that punctuated Corsica in the spring and then the elections, this date could be postponed to the beginning of next year.
What are the consequences and conditions of autonomy for Corsica?
Autonomy, but for what? Unlike independence, Corsica would remain under the control of the French State, which will retain all sovereign prerogatives on the territory, namely everything concerning the police, the army and justice. Gérald Darmanin repeated it on July 22: “it is a question of agreeing on the brakes and the surveillance that the sovereign State can establish to prevent organized crime from taking hold of it.” On the other hand, the community could obtain many competences, in particular economic with its own taxation, but also educational, environmental or even on the development of the territory. This is the possibility suggested by Gérald Darmanin. “It can be an autonomy within the constitution of today. Polynesia has a status which allows it to be totally in the Republic and to have a particular specificity: it is she who manages everything which is economic and social”, he had indicated on BFMTV/RMC Wednesday, March 16. However, it is not the “first cop of France” who will decide but Emmanuel Macron in person.