"Ladies and gentlemen,
We're missing someone here this morning. And this absence, which leaves a great void and many orphaned Saint-Martinois, is Aline Hanson. I would like to dedicate the following film, my remarks and the celebrations organized this weekend for the tenth anniversary of our Community, in memory of Madam President.
I also wish to have a thought for our friend and colleague Mr. Pierre Brangé, who is very knowledgeable about our status, still hospitalized in the Paris region and whose state of health remains very fragile. I was even more moved by the fact that at the time, the Mayor had entrusted Pierre, who was a young jurist and I, a young elected official, to follow up on the work on the elaboration of our new statute.
Ladies and gentlemen, the young overseas collectivity of Saint-Martin is celebrating its tenth anniversary.
In the wake of Saint-Barthélemy and under the impetus of Mayor Albert Fleming, we made the choice of an original statute: that of Collectivité d ' Governed by Article 7 of the Constitution.
The sorrowful and doubtful minds then counted on the fingers of the hand. The time was then for the unity of the political class and an unprecedented emulation surrounded the work for the elaboration of a territory that we all, together, could think, shape, reinvent, and from a status to Map closer to our realities, our stakes, our specificities.
Finally, Saint-Martin was going to find an institutional and legal balance perfectly adapted to this particular identity that is our pride! Finally, the Saint-Martinois would have the means to make their singular voice heard and to defend their own interests within the Republic!
And everything would be fine, since the State had promised to accompany our statutory evolution and that it guaranteed to us the just compensation for the transfers of the broadened powers that we were going to inherit.
It is therefore confident - naïve perhaps a little, I admit - that in 2007, there are 10 years, we entered a new era, on a territory whose future looked more lenient, more Prosperous and clearer.
It was 10 years ago ...
The institutional stability that was necessary for our economic development today has the appearance of missed appointments.
I spare you the often painful traveling of the chaotic decade that we have just crossed: you, I, all of us, were the actors and the witnesses.
A simple statement: hope has succeeded disenchantment.
I ask the question, in light of what we have been through since 10 years: and if it was to redo?
Perhaps then, it would be the supporters of the 74 who would count on the fingers of the hand.
Well, I'll be one of them.
And even if I pass for a Don Quixote, I tell you: I remain a fervent defender of the 74. I believe in 74. I remain convinced that this formidable toolbox that is our status remains the right choice for Saint Martin.
That it is endowed with a rather wobbly, sometimes illegible, often incomplete mode of employment, but that in applied artisans, conscientious managers, enlightened citizens, we will know how to make it work fully, To assure the Saint-Martin's the development to which they are entitled, and to Saint-Martin the attractiveness and the radiance to which it can and must claim.
The difficulties, obstacles and setbacks experienced by our collectivity since its advent by the crisis-the economic, political and social crises-must not make us forget that period of hope and emulation which preceded accession To our new status.
I invite everyone to revive this fruitful period: there is no fatality to the difficulties we are experiencing today; Our multiple problems will not find their resolution in wait-and-see.
They will be regulated by work, hard work, collective work to defend our specificities, to make our voices heard and to be fully respected within the Nation. Together we will build a future of development for our island.
It is on this message, I believe, that the new majority which I have had the honor of leading for a quarter has been widely elected. And yes, there are many challenges ahead.
As the first Member of Parliament for Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin, I had the opportunity to conduct a parliamentary information mission on our Community, 3 years ago. The findings and the proposals that I made then remain, in my view, topical: we must strengthen the coherence of our governance and the participation of civil society; But also to improve cooperation between the State and our collectivity, particularly in the field of taxation, to better fight the scourge of delinquency, to rethink our regional integration by re-examining our role within the European Union or to establish cooperation worthy of this Name with Sint Maarten. These are some of the many challenges ahead. But we are ready.
We, the Saint-Martinois, must live up to the demands of our overseas collectivity status. By ceasing, for example, I spoke earlier, to operate according to a scheme, landmarks and communal codes. By taking our responsibilities, and they are numerous.
We, the Saint-Martinois, have duties: we are going to fill them.
But we also have rights. And, with the same fervor and firmness, I intend to make them heard and respected.
This involves an arm-wrestling with the State, in particular on the issue of just compensation for transfers of office and powers. We still have a small window to use litigation on several files, I intend to study everything.
This also involves renewed relations with the State: the 74 is, I repeat, a strengthening of the presence of the State on our territory, and therefore in no case by interference of the State in the affairs of Saint -Martin.
I remember a minister who had responded to my hon. Member's just demands on the issue of compensation for our territory of the CICE system, that Saint Martin was paying "the ransom of accountability": this infantilization of our Community That too long, it is necessary to impulse a new dynamic. I am fortunate to be able to work with Madam the Prefect, who has understood the challenges of this new dynamic and with which I have very good relations. The state must understand that Saint Martin is henceforth a partner, in no case a vassal.
The words are strong, but they will be followed by effects, I promise. Because we can not continue to suffer the disadvantages of a de facto connection with Guadeloupe, which undermines our proper functioning, deepens our deficits and remains totally contrary to the very spirit of the statute. We fulfill the imperatives we have set ourselves, we must be able to benefit from the guarantees and the services provided for by this statute.
We will also have to perfect our status - since, as you are aware, some of the skills that have been assigned to us are not fully developed - we will have to groom and complete the organic law that governs us in the months to come. I wish the active participation of all the elected representatives and all the actors of our Community for this great work of reflection which will engage the institutional future of our Collectivity. I know that we can count on our member to take over all the demands of our community and I look forward to the excellent cooperation that has taken place between us, Madame Javois Guion-Firmin and myself.
St. Martin needs collective intelligence. Our Collectivity needs men and women who are looking in the same direction and who have the same will to restore the island to development, success and progress. I know that many of them are in front of me today.
I will stop here and let you discover the film made by the teams of the Collectivité for this celebration of the tenth anniversary of the accession to our status. I would like to pay tribute to the high-quality work carried out by the audiovisual unit of the communication department of the Community. Congratulations to all.
Once again, I wish you, I wish you, very beautiful rejoicings in this July 14.