Home World The beautiful European island that's had enough of being part of Emmanuel...

The beautiful European island that's had enough of being part of Emmanuel Macron's France

A stunning Mediterranean island is inching closer to a much-desired autonomy from France and its President Emmanuel Macron.

Located just above the Italian island of Sardinia, Corsica has a strong and historic movement advocating for autonomy and even independence from the central power in Paris.

Separatists previously waged a 40-year violent campaign, which included assassinations, blowing up police stations and destroying mansions.

After the militants laid down arms in 2014, the autonomist movement gained more momentum – with the now-defunct party Pè a Corsica winning nearly two-thirds of seats in the regional assembly in December 2017.

For years, French President Emmanuel Macron opposed granting the level of autonomy sought by many locals, stating in 2018 that he would not recognise the Corsican language alongside French.

However, in September 2023 he became the first French President to publicly endorse a level of Corsican autonomy.

Months after this boost to the autonomous movement, the Corsican Assembly approved the draft constitutional text for a “status of autonomy” that would grant more freedom to the island while keeping it within the republic.

The text, approved on March 27 and consisting of six paragraphs, was put to the vote in three parts – on the notion of a Corsican community, the possibility of granting normative power to the island’s elected representatives, and the idea of submitting this text to the Corsican electorate via a popular consultation.

The approval of the text was described by the autonomist chairman of the Corsican Executive Council, Gilles Simeoni, as “an extremely powerful and strong democratic moment”.

The desire for autonomy in Corsica isn’t embraced across the political spectrum.

The co-president of the right-wing group, Valérie Bozzi, said she would “vote in favour of this text”, refusing to “take the risk of being the one to cause the process to fail”. She added: “Let’s give ourselves the means to exert all our influence rather than exclude ourselves.”

The co-chairman of the right-wing Un Soffiu Novu group, Jean-Martin Mondoloni, explained he didn’t wish to approve the constitutional text in its entirety.

The ball is now in Paris’ court, and Corsica may still be fighting an uphill battle.

After Mr Macron’s meeting with members of the Corsican Assembly and consultation with political forces in the National Assembly, the draft constitutional bill will need to be drawn up and introduced to the Council of Ministers.

The document will then be presented to both the Assembly and the Senate, and will need to be passed by both – despite the right-wing majority in the latter being against this constitutional reform.

Following this stage, the draft will be submitted to Congress, where a three-fifths majority will be needed for the ratification.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here