National Assembly (France)
The National Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of France under the Fifth Republic, the upper house being the Senate. The National Assembly's members are known as députés. There are 577 députés, each elected by a single-member constituency through a two-round voting system. Thus, 289 seats are required for a majority; the assembly is presided over by a president from the largest party represented, assisted by vice-presidents from across the represented political spectrum. The term of the National Assembly is five years; this measure is becoming rarer since the 2000 referendum reduced the presidential term from seven to five years: a President has a majority elected in the Assembly two months after the presidential election, it would be useless for him/her to dissolve it for those reasons. Following a tradition started by the first National Assembly during the French Revolution, the "left-wing" parties sit to the left as seen from the president's seat, the "right-wing" parties sit to the right, the seating arrangement thus directly indicates the political spectrum as represented in the Assembly.
The official seat of the National Assembly is the Palais Bourbon on the banks of the river Seine. It is guarded by Republican Guards; the Constitution of the French Fifth Republic increased the power of the executive at the expense of Parliament, compared to previous constitutions. The President of the Republic can decide to dissolve the National Assembly and call for new legislative elections; this is meant as a way to resolve stalemates where the Assembly cannot decide on a clear political direction. This possibility is exercised; the last dissolution was by Jacques Chirac in 1997, following from the lack of popularity of prime minister Alain Juppé. The National Assembly can overthrow the executive government by a motion of no confidence. For this reason, the prime minister and his cabinet are from the dominant party or coalition in the assembly. In the case of a president and assembly from opposing parties, this leads to the situation known as cohabitation. While motions de censure are periodically proposed by the opposition following government actions that it deems inappropriate, they are purely rhetorical.
Since the beginning of the Fifth Republic, there has only been one single successful motion de censure, in 1962 in hostility to the referendum on the method of election of the President, President Charles de Gaulle dissolved the Assembly within a few days. The government used to set the priorities of the agenda for the assembly's sessions, except for a single day each month. In practice, given the number of priority items, it meant that the schedule of the assembly was entirely set by the executive. This, was amended on 23 July 2008. Under the amended constitution, the government sets the priorities for two weeks in a month. Another week is designated for the assembly's "control" prerogatives, and the fourth one is set by the assembly. One day per month is set by a "minority" or "opposition" group. Members of the assembly can ask oral questions to ministers; the Wednesday afternoon 3 p.m. session of "questions to the Government" is broadcast live on television. Like Prime Minister's Questions in Britain, it is a show for the viewers, with members of the majority asking flattering questions, while the opposition tries to embarrass the government.
The history of national representation for two centuries is linked to history of the democratic principle and the uneven road that it had to go before finding in the French institutions the consecration, its own today. Although the French have periodically elected representatives since 1789, the mode of appointment and the powers of these representatives have varied according to the times, the periods of erasure of the parliamentary institution coinciding with a decline in public liberties. In this respect, the names are not innocent; the name of National Assembly, chosen in the fervor of 1789, just reappears - if we except the short parenthesis of 1848 - in 1946. In the meantime, more or less reductive appellations "Instituted by the Constitution of the year III in August 1795," Chamber of deputies of the departments "," House of Representatives "," Legislative body "," Chambers of deputies ", etc.) which show, to varying degrees, the reluctance or the declared hostility of some governments or governments to the principle
Réunion is an overseas department and region of France and an island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and 175 km southwest of Mauritius. As of January 2019, it had a population of 866,506; the island has been inhabited since the 16th century, when people from France and Madagascar settled there. Slavery was abolished on 20 December 1848, when the French Second Republic abolished slavery in the French colonies; however on indentured workers were brought to Réunion from South India, among other places. The island became an overseas department of France in 1946; as in France, the official language is French. In addition, the majority of the region's population speaks Réunion Creole. Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other four overseas departments, it is one of the 18 regions of France, with the modified status of overseas region, an integral part of the republic with the same status as Metropolitan France. Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, part of the Eurozone.
Not much is known of Réunion's history prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in the early 16th century. Arab traders were familiar with it by the name Dina Morgabin; the island is featured on a map from 1153 AD by Al Sharif el-Edrisi. The island might have been visited by Swahili or Austronesian sailors on their journey to the west from the Malay Archipelago to Madagascar; the first European discovery of the area was made around 1507 by Portuguese explorer Diogo Fernandes Pereira, but the specifics are unclear. The uninhabited island might have been first sighted by the expedition led by Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, who gave his name to the island group around Réunion, the Mascarenes. Réunion itself was dubbed Santa Apolónia after a favourite saint, which suggests that the date of the Portuguese discovery could have been 9 February, her saint day. Diogo Lopes de Sequeira is said to have landed on the islands of Réunion and Rodrigues in 1509. By the early 1600s, nominal Portuguese rule had left Santa Apolónia untouched.
The island was occupied by France and administered from Port Louis, Mauritius. Although the first French claims date from 1638, when François Cauche and Salomon Goubert visited in June 1638, the island was claimed by Jacques Pronis of France in 1642, when he deported a dozen French mutineers to the island from Madagascar; the convicts were returned to France several years and in 1649, the island was named Île Bourbon after the French royal House of Bourbon. Colonisation started in 1665. "Île de la Réunion" was the name given to the island in 1793 by a decree of the Convention Nationale with the fall of the House of Bourbon in France, the name commemorates the union of revolutionaries from Marseille with the National Guard in Paris, which took place on 10 August 1792. In 1801, the island was renamed "Île Bonaparte", after First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. During the Napoleonic Wars, the island was invaded by a Royal Navy squadron led by Commodore Josias Rowley in 1810, who used the old name of "Bourbon".
When it was restored to France by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the island retained the name of "Bourbon" until the fall of the restored Bourbons during the French Revolution of 1848, when the island was once again given the name "Île de la Réunion". From the 17th to 19th centuries, French colonisation, supplemented by importing Africans and Indians as workers, contributed to ethnic diversity in the population. From 1690, most of the non-Europeans were enslaved; the colony abolished slavery on 20 December 1848. Afterwards, many of the foreign workers came as indentured workers; the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 reduced the importance of the island as a stopover on the East Indies trade route. During the Second World War, Réunion was under the authority of the Vichy regime until 30 November 1942, when Free French forces took over the island with the destroyer Léopard. Réunion became a département d'outre-mer of France on 19 March 1946. INSEE assigned to Réunion the department code 974, the region code 04 when regional councils were created in 1982 in France, including in existing overseas departments which became overseas regions.
Over about two decades in the late 20th century, 1,630 children from Réunion were relocated to rural areas of metropolitan France to Creuse, ostensibly for education and work opportunities. That program was led by influential Gaullist politician Michel Debré, an MP for Réunion at the time. Many of these children were disadvantaged by the families with whom they were placed. Known as the Children of Creuse and their fate came to light in 2002 when one of them, Jean-Jacques Martial, filed suit against the French state for kidnapping and deportation of a minor. Other similar lawsuits were filed over the following years, but all were dismissed by French courts and by the European Court of Human Rights in 2011. In 2005 and 2006, Réunion was hit by a crippling epidemic of chikungunya, a disease spread by mosquitoes. According to the BBC News, 255,000 people on Réunion had contracted the disease as of 26 April 2006; the neighbouring islands of Mauritius and Madagascar suffered epidemics of this disease during the same year.
A few cases appeared in mainland France, carried by people travelling by airline. The French government of Dominique de Villepin sent an emergency aid package worth €36 million and deployed about 500 troops in an effort to eradicate mo
New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France in the southwest Pacific Ocean, located to the south of Vanuatu, about 1,210 km east of Australia and 20,000 km from Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Chesterfield Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of Pines, a few remote islets; the Chesterfield Islands are in the Coral Sea. Locals refer to Grande Terre as Le Caillou. New Caledonia has a land area of 18,576 km2, its population of 268,767 consists of a mix of Kanak people, people of European descent, Polynesian people, Southeast Asian people, as well as a few people of Pied-Noir and North African descent. The capital of the territory is Nouméa; the earliest traces of human presence in New Caledonia date back to the Lapita period c. 1600 BC to c. 500 AD. The Lapita were skilled navigators and agriculturists with influence over a large area of the Pacific. British explorer Captain James Cook was the first European to sight New Caledonia, on 4 September 1774, during his second voyage.
He named it "New Caledonia". The west coast of Grande Terre was approached by the Comte de Lapérouse in 1788, shortly before his disappearance, the Loyalty Islands were first visited between 1793 and 1796 when Mare, Lifou and Ouvea were mapped by William Raven; the English whaler encountered the island named Britania, today known as Maré, in November 1793. From 1796 until 1840, only a few sporadic contacts with the archipelago were recorded. About fifty American whalers have been recorded in the region between 1793 and 1887. Contacts became more frequent because of the interest in sandalwood; as trade in sandalwood declined, it was replaced by a new business enterprise, "blackbirding", a euphemism for taking Melanesian or Western Pacific Islanders from New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands, New Hebrides, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands into indentured or forced labour in the sugar cane plantations in Fiji and Queensland by various methods of trickery and deception. Blackbirding was practiced by both French and British-Australian traders, but in New Caledonia's case, the trade in the early decades of the twentieth century involved relocating children from the Loyalty Islands to the Grand Terre for labour in plantation agriculture.
New Caledonia's primary experience with blackbirding revolved around a trade from the New Hebrides to the Grand Terre for labour in plantation agriculture, mines, as well as guards over convicts and in some public works. The historian Dorothy Shineberg's milestone study, The People Trade, discusses this'migration'. In the early years of the trade, coercion was used to lure Melanesian islanders onto ships. In years indenture systems were developed; this represented a departure from the British experience, since increased regulations were developed to mitigate the abuses of blackbirding and'recruitment' strategies on the coastlines. The first missionaries from the London Missionary Society and the Marist Brothers arrived in the 1840s. In 1849, the crew of the American ship Cutter was eaten by the Pouma clan. Cannibalism was widespread throughout New Caledonia. On 24 September 1853, under orders from Emperor Napoleon III, Admiral Febvrier Despointes took formal possession of New Caledonia. Captain Louis-Marie-François Tardy de Montravel founded Port-de-France on 25 June 1854.
A few dozen free settlers settled on the west coast in the following years. New Caledonia became a penal colony in 1864, from the 1860s until the end of the transportations in 1897, France sent about 22,000 criminals and political prisoners to New Caledonia; the Bulletin de la Société générale des prisons for 1888 indicates that 10,428 convicts, including 2,329 freed ones, were on the island as of 1 May 1888, by far the largest number of convicts detained in French overseas penitentiaries. The convicts included many Communards, arrested after the failed Paris Commune of 1871, including Henri de Rochefort and Louise Michel. Between 1873 and 1876, 4,200 political prisoners were "relegated" to New Caledonia. Only 40 of them settled in the colony. In 1864 nickel was discovered on the banks of the Diahot River. To work the mines the French imported labourers from neighbouring islands and from the New Hebrides, from Japan, the Dutch East Indies, French Indochina; the French government attempted to encourage European immigration, without much success.
The indigenous population or Kanak people were excluded from the French economy and from mining work, confined to reservations. This sparked a violent reaction in 1878, when High Chief Atal of La Foa managed to unite many of the central tribes and launched a guerrilla war that killed 200 Frenchmen and 1,000 Kanaks. A second guerrilla war took place in 1917, with Catholic missionaries like Maurice Leenhardt functioning as witnesses to the events of this war. Leenhardt would pen a number of ethnographic works on the Kanak of New Caledonia. Noel of Tiamou led the 1917 rebellion, which resulted in a number of orphaned children, one of whom was taken into th
Guadeloupe is an insular region of France located in the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Administratively, it is an overseas region consisting of a single overseas department. With a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and an estimated population of 400,132 as of January 2015, it is the largest and most populous European Union territory in North America. Guadeloupe's main islands are Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Désirade, the Îles des Saintes. Guadeloupe, like the other overseas departments, is an integral part of France; as a constituent territory of the European Union and the Eurozone, the euro is its official currency and any European Union citizen is free to settle and work there indefinitely. As an overseas department, however, it is not part of the Schengen Area; the official language is French, but Antillean Creole is spoken by the entire population except recent arrivals from metropolitan France. The island is called "Gwadada" by the locals.
The island was called "Karukera" by the Arawak people, who settled on there in the year 300. Christopher Columbus named the island Santa María de Guadalupe in 1493 after the Virgin Mary, venerated in the Spanish town of Guadalupe. Upon becoming a French colony, the Spanish name was retained though altered to French orthography and phonology. Archaeological evidence indicates that between 800 and 1000 AD drought led to a period with no habitation. Gradual resettlement occurred after 1000 AD. Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1493. During the 17th century, the Caribs repelled Spanish settlers; the French Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique delegated Charles Liènard de l'Olive and Jean du Plessis d'Ossonville to colonize one or any of the region's islands, Martinique, or Dominica. They settled in Guadeloupe in 1635, took possession of the island, wiped out many of the natives crushing them in 1641. Tobacco cultivation in the early 1600s was sustained by European laborers. In 1654 80% of the population of Guadeloupe was of European origin.
In the 1600s African slaves were brought in, by 1671 13%. Of the population was of European origin. Guadeloupe produced more sugar than all the British islands combined, worth about £6 million a year; the British captured Guadeloupe in 1759. Britain had seized Canada in the war, debate took place in both Britain and France as to, more valuable, Canada or Guadeloupe. Britain decided Canada, although expensive to maintain, was of greater strategic value and returned Guadeloupe to France in the Treaty of Paris. In 1790, following the French Revolution, monarchists refused to obey the new laws of equal rights for the free people of color and declared independence in 1791. In 1793, a slave rebellion broke out, which made the upper classes turn to the British and ask them to occupy the island. Britain seized Guadeloupe in April 1794. In December 1794, republican governor Victor Hugues used military force, helped by the slave population, to force the British to surrender. Hugues ended slavery, but in 1802, Napoleon I of France restored it, sending a force to recapture the island.
In 1810 the British again seized the island. In the Treaty of Paris of 1814, Sweden ceded Guadeloupe to France, giving rise to the Guadeloupe Fund; the Treaty of Vienna definitively acknowledged French control of Guadeloupe. In 1848, slavery was abolished. Slaves were replaced by indentured servants imported from India to work in the sugar fields. An earthquake in 1843 caused the La Soufrière volcano to erupt. Guadeloupe lost 12,000 of its 150,000 residents in the cholera epidemic of 1865–66. In 1925, after the trial of Henry Sidambarom French nationality and the vote was granted to Indian citizens. In 1946, the colony of Guadeloupe became an overseas department of France. In 2007 the island communes of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy were detached from Guadeloupe and became two separate French overseas collectivities with their own local administration. In January 2009, labour unions and others known as the Liyannaj Kont Pwofitasyon went on strike for more pay; the strike lasted 44 days. Tourism suffered during this time and affected the 2010 tourist season as well.
The 2009 French Caribbean general strikes exposed deep ethnic and class tensions and disparities within Guadeloupe. Guadeloupe is an archipelago of more than 12 islands, as well as islets and rocks situated where the northeastern Caribbean Sea meets the western Atlantic Ocean, it is in the Leeward Islands, in the northern part of the Lesser Antilles, an island arc a volcanic arc. Most of the inhabitants live on a pair of islands, Basse-Terre Island and Grande-Terre, which form a butterfly shape, viewed from above, the two wings of which are separated by a narrow sea channel, the Salée River. More than half of Guadeloupe's land surface is on Basse-Terre. Western Basse-Terre has a rough volcanic relief while eastern Grande-Terre features rolling hills and flat plains. La Grande Soufrière is the highest mountain peak in the Lesser Antilles, with an elevation of 1,467 metres; the adjacent islands of La Désirade, Les Saintes, Marie-Galante are under jurisdiction of Guadeloupe. The Lesser Antilles are at the outer edge of the Caribbean Plate.
Many of the islands were formed as a result of the subduction of oceanic crust of the Atlantic Plate under the Caribbean Plate in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone. This process is responsible for volcanic and earthquake activity in the region. Guadeloupe was formed from multiple volcanoes. There is an act
The euro is the official currency of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union. This group of states is known as the eurozone or euro area, counts about 343 million citizens as of 2019; the euro is the second largest and second most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar. The euro is subdivided into 100 cents; the currency is used by the institutions of the European Union, by four European microstates that are not EU members, as well as unilaterally by Montenegro and Kosovo. Outside Europe, a number of special territories of EU members use the euro as their currency. Additionally, 240 million people worldwide as of 2018 use currencies pegged to the euro; the euro is the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar. As of August 2018, with more than €1.2 trillion in circulation, the euro has one of the highest combined values of banknotes and coins in circulation in the world, having surpassed the U.
S. dollar. The name euro was adopted on 16 December 1995 in Madrid; the euro was introduced to world financial markets as an accounting currency on 1 January 1999, replacing the former European Currency Unit at a ratio of 1:1. Physical euro coins and banknotes entered into circulation on 1 January 2002, making it the day-to-day operating currency of its original members, by March 2002 it had replaced the former currencies. While the euro dropped subsequently to US$0.83 within two years, it has traded above the U. S. dollar since the end of 2002, peaking at US$1.60 on 18 July 2008. In late 2009, the euro became immersed in the European sovereign-debt crisis, which led to the creation of the European Financial Stability Facility as well as other reforms aimed at stabilising and strengthening the currency; the euro is managed and administered by the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank and the Eurosystem. As an independent central bank, the ECB has sole authority to set monetary policy; the Eurosystem participates in the printing and distribution of notes and coins in all member states, the operation of the eurozone payment systems.
The 1992 Maastricht Treaty obliges most EU member states to adopt the euro upon meeting certain monetary and budgetary convergence criteria, although not all states have done so. The United Kingdom and Denmark negotiated exemptions, while Sweden turned down the euro in a 2003 referendum, has circumvented the obligation to adopt the euro by not meeting the monetary and budgetary requirements. All nations that have joined the EU since 1993 have pledged to adopt the euro in due course. Since 1 January 2002, the national central banks and the ECB have issued euro banknotes on a joint basis. Euro banknotes do not show. Eurosystem NCBs are required to accept euro banknotes put into circulation by other Eurosystem members and these banknotes are not repatriated; the ECB issues 8% of the total value of banknotes issued by the Eurosystem. In practice, the ECB's banknotes are put into circulation by the NCBs, thereby incurring matching liabilities vis-à-vis the ECB; these liabilities carry interest at the main refinancing rate of the ECB.
The other 92% of euro banknotes are issued by the NCBs in proportion to their respective shares of the ECB capital key, calculated using national share of European Union population and national share of EU GDP weighted. The euro is divided into 100 cents. In Community legislative acts the plural forms of euro and cent are spelled without the s, notwithstanding normal English usage. Otherwise, normal English plurals are sometimes used, with many local variations such as centime in France. All circulating coins have a common side showing the denomination or value, a map in the background. Due to the linguistic plurality in the European Union, the Latin alphabet version of euro is used and Arabic numerals. For the denominations except the 1-, 2- and 5-cent coins, the map only showed the 15 member states which were members when the euro was introduced. Beginning in 2007 or 2008 the old map is being replaced by a map of Europe showing countries outside the Union like Norway, Belarus, Russia or Turkey.
The 1-, 2- and 5-cent coins, keep their old design, showing a geographical map of Europe with the 15 member states of 2002 raised somewhat above the rest of the map. All common sides were designed by Luc Luycx; the coins have a national side showing an image chosen by the country that issued the coin. Euro coins from any member state may be used in any nation that has adopted the euro; the coins are issued in denominations of €2, €1, 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c, 1c. To avoid the use of the two smallest coins, some cash transactions are rounded to the nearest five cents in the Netherlands and Ireland and in Finland; this practice is discouraged by the Commission, as is the practice of certain shops of refusing to accept high-value euro notes. Commemorative coins with €2 face value have been issued with changes to the design of the national side of the coin; these include both issued coins, such as the €2 commemorative coin for the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, nationally i
Collectivity of Saint Martin
The Collectivity of Saint Martin known as Saint Martin, is an overseas collectivity of France in the West Indies in the Caribbean. With a population of 36,286 on an area of 53.2 square kilometres, it encompasses the northern 60% of the divided island of Saint Martin, some neighbouring islets, the largest of, Île Tintamarre. The southern 40% of the island of Saint Martin constitutes Sint Maarten, since 2010 a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; this marks the only place in the world. Before 2007, the French part of Saint Martin formed a part of the French overseas région and département of Guadeloupe. Saint Martin is separated from the island of Anguilla by the Anguilla Channel, its capital is Marigot. Hurricane Irma hit the island on 6–7 September 2017 with Category 5 winds causing widespread and significant damage to buildings and infrastructure; as of 10 September, reports indicated that ten deaths were attributed to the storm on this island and on Saint Barthelemy and that seven people were still missing.
Saint Martin was for many years a French commune, forming part of Guadeloupe, an overseas région and département of France. In 2003 the population of the French part of the island voted in favour of secession from Guadeloupe in order to form a separate overseas collectivity of France. On 9 February 2007, the French Parliament passed a bill granting COM status to both the French part of Saint Martin and the neighbouring Saint Barthélemy; the new status took effect on 15 July 2007, once the local assemblies were elected, with the second leg of the vote occurring on 15 July 2007. Saint Martin remains part of the European Union; the new governance structure befitting an overseas collectivity took effect on 15 July 2007 with the first session of the Territorial Council and the election of Louis-Constant Fleming as president of the Territorial Council. On 25 July 2008 Fleming resigned after being sanctioned by the Conseil d'État for one year over problems with his 2007 election campaign. On 7 August, Frantz Gumbs was elected as President of the Territorial Council.
However, his election was declared invalid on 10 April 2009 and Daniel Gibbs appointed as Acting President of the Territorial Council on 14 April 2009. Gumbs was reelected on 5 May 2009. Before 2007, Saint Martin was coded as GP in ISO 3166-1. In October 2007, it received the ISO 3166-1 code MF, MAF, 663; the coat of arms features a ship, a palm and a sun, reads "Collectivité de Saint Martin". The commune that existed until 22 February 2007, used similar arms but with the legend "Ville de Saint Martin"; the French part of the island has a land area of 53.2 square kilometres. A local English-based dialect is spoken in informal situations on both the French and Dutch sides of the island. At the January 2011 French census, the population in the French part of the island was 36,286, which means a population density of 682 inhabitants per square kilometre in 2011. During the 1980s, the population more than tripled. By 2000 the territory had over 7,000 Haitians; the official currency of Saint Martin is the euro, though the US dollar is widely accepted.
Tourism is the main economic activity. INSEE estimated that the total GDP of Saint Martin amounted to 421 million euros in 1999. In that same year the GDP per capita of Saint Martin was 14,500 euros, 39% lower than the average GDP per capita of metropolitan France in 1999. In comparison, the GDP per capita on the Dutch side of the island, Sint Maarten, was 14,430 euros in 2004; the collectivity has the following public preschool and elementary schools: Preschools: Jean Anselme, Jérôme Beaupère, Elaine Clarke, Evelina Halley, Ghyslaine Rogers, Trott Simeone Primary schools: Omer Arrondell, Emile Choisy, Nina Duverly, Elie Gibs, Aline Hanson, Emile Larmonnie, Marie-Amélie Ledee, Clair Saint-Maximin, Hervé Williams Ecole élémentaire M-Antoinette RichardThere are three junior high schools and one senior high school: Junior highs: #1 Des Accords, #2 Soualiga, #3 Quartier d'Orleans Lycée des Îles Nord Cité Scolaire Robert Weinum is a joint public junior-senior high school in Saint Martin Grand Case-Espérance Airport has regional flights.
The Dutch side airport Princess Juliana International Airport has long haul flights serving the collectivity. Hurricane Irma hit Saint Martin on 6 of September, 2017. France's Minister of the Interior said on 8 September. In addition to damage caused by high winds, there were reports of serious flood damage to businesses in the village of Marigot. Looting was a serious problem. France sent aid as well as additional emergency personnel to the island. 95 % of the structures on the French side had been destroyed. Looting or "pillaging" was a problem initially. On 10 September, France announced that it was sending additional emergency supplies, including water and electrical equipment to help restore the power supply to St. Martin as an early step to helping the residents to survive and to rebuild. By 11 September, President Emmanuel Macron was flying to the area to view the damage and to assure resi
The European Parliament is the only parliamentary institution of the European Union, directly elected by EU citizens aged 18 or older. Together with the Council of the European Union, which should not be confused with the European Council and the Council of Europe, it exercises the legislative function of the EU; the Parliament is composed of 751 members, that will become 705 starting from the 2019–2024 legislature, who represent the second-largest democratic electorate in the world and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world. It has been directly elected by the European citizens every five years and by universal suffrage since 1979. However, voter turnout at European Parliament elections has fallen consecutively at each election since that date, has been under 50% since 1999. Voter turnout in 2014 stood at 42.54% of all European voters. Although the European Parliament has legislative power, as does the Council, it does not formally possess legislative initiative, as most national parliaments of European Union member states do.
The Parliament is the "first institution" of the EU, shares equal legislative and budgetary powers with the Council. It has equal control over the EU budget; the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, is accountable to Parliament. In particular, Parliament elects the President of the Commission, approves the appointment of the Commission as a whole, it can subsequently force the Commission as a body to resign by adopting a motion of censure. The President of the European Parliament is Antonio Tajani, elected in January 2017, he presides over a multi-party chamber, the two largest groups being the Group of the European People's Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. The last union-wide elections were the 2014 elections; the European Parliament has three places of work -- Luxembourg City and Strasbourg. Luxembourg City is home to the administrative offices. Meetings of the whole Parliament take place in Brussels. Committee meetings are held in Brussels; the Parliament, like the other institutions, was not designed in its current form when it first met on 10 September 1952.
One of the oldest common institutions, it began as the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community. It was a consultative assembly of 78 appointed parliamentarians drawn from the national parliaments of member states, having no legislative powers; the change since its foundation was highlighted by Professor David Farrell of the University of Manchester: "For much of its life, the European Parliament could have been justly labelled a'multi-lingual talking shop'."Its development since its foundation shows how the European Union's structures have evolved without a clear "master plan". Some, such as Tom Reid of the Washington Post, said of the union: "nobody would have deliberately designed a government as complex and as redundant as the EU"; the Parliament's two seats, which have switched several times, are a result of various agreements or lack of agreements. Although most MEPs would prefer to be based just in Brussels, at John Major's 1992 Edinburgh summit, France engineered a treaty amendment to maintain Parliament's plenary seat permanently at Strasbourg.
The body was not mentioned in the original Schuman Declaration. It was assumed or hoped that difficulties with the British would be resolved to allow the Council of Europe's Assembly to perform the task. A separate Assembly was introduced during negotiations on the Treaty as an institution which would counterbalance and monitor the executive while providing democratic legitimacy; the wording of the ECSC Treaty demonstrated the leaders' desire for more than a normal consultative assembly by using the term "representatives of the people" and allowed for direct election. Its early importance was highlighted when the Assembly was given the task of drawing up the draft treaty to establish a European Political Community. By this document, the Ad Hoc Assembly was established on 13 September 1952 with extra members, but after the failure of the proposed European Defence Community the project was dropped. Despite this, the European Economic Community and Euratom were established in 1958 by the Treaties of Rome.
The Common Assembly was shared by all three communities and it renamed itself the European Parliamentary Assembly. The first meeting was held on 19 March 1958 having been set up in Luxembourg City, it elected Schuman as its president and on 13 May it rearranged itself to sit according to political ideology rather than nationality; this is seen as the birth of the modern European Parliament, with Parliament's 50 years celebrations being held in March 2008 rather than 2002. The three communities merged their remaining organs as the European Communities in 1967, the body's name was changed to the current "European Parliament" in 1962. In 1970 the Parliament was granted power over areas of the Communities' budget, which were expanded to the whole budget in 1975. Under the Rome Treaties, the Parliament should have become elected. However, the Council was required to agree a uni