8 Jul 2009

France gives New Caledonia Congress power transfer extension

4:53 pm on 8 July 2009

The Congress in New Caledonia is to be given extra time to decide on the transfer of additional competencies from Paris after the French Senate adopted two bills about the institutional evolution of New Caledonia.

The Congress is to get two years instead of six months to pass a law about transferring competencies in civil law, rules related to civil registry, business law and civil security.

The phased and irreversible transfer of powers from France to local authorities in New Caledonia is enshrined in the 1998 Noumea Accord, and is to be followed by a referendum on self-determination between 2014 and 2018.

The newly appointed junior minister in charge of overseas territories, Marie-Luce Penchard, says the transfer of competencies is the driving force behind the Noumea Accord.