The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, says citizens living in French overseas territories are entitled to the same social and economic conditions as those in mainland France.
In a formal and unprecedented address to both houses of the legislature in Versailles, Mr Sarkozy said he intended to discuss ways of reaching this goal of equality.
He says the social disparities affecting the French overseas are not in line with Republican principles, and he won't let the current situation get worse.
"How could they consider themselves to be full citizens of our Republic if our Republic cares so little about its promise of equality given to all citizens"
Nicolas Sarkozy is this week expected to visit the French overseas departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe, where workers had been on strike to protest against the high cost of living.
The French daily Le Figaro says it has been planned 11 police squadrons will escort the president throughout his journey as local trade unions are calling for a new strike.