The Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean (French: Îles Éparses or Îles Éparses de l'océan Indien) consist of four small coral islands, an atoll, and a reef in the Indian Ocean, and have constituted the 5th district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF) since February 2007. They have never had a permanent population. Two of the islands—Juan de Nova and Europa—and the Bassas da India atoll lie in the Mozambique Channel west of Madagascar, while a third island, Tromelin, lies about 450 kilometres (280 mi) east of Madagascar and the Glorioso Islands lies about 200 kilometres (120 mi) northwest of Madagascar. Also in the Mozambique Channel is the Banc du Geyser, a reef under French control claimed by Madagascar since 1976. France and the Comoros view the Banc du Geyser as part of the Glorioso Islands.
The islands have been classified as nature reserves. Except for Bassas da India, they all support meteorological stations: those on the Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova, and Europa Island are automated. The station on Tromelin Island, in particular, provides warning of cyclones threatening Madagascar, Réunion, or Mauritius. Each of the islands, except Bassas da India and Banc du Geyser, has an airstrip of more than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft).
Mauritius, the Comoros, and Madagascar dispute France's sovereignty over the islands. Mauritius claims Tromelin and argues that the island, discovered by France in 1722, was not ceded by the treaty of Paris in 1814. Madagascar claims sovereignty over the Glorioso Islands (Banc du Geyser included) despite the islands not having been a part of Malagasy Protectorate, but rather a part of colony of Mayotte and dependencies, then a part of French Comoros that had become a separately administered colony from Madagascar in 1946. The Comoros claims the Glorioso Islands (Banc du Geyser included) too, as a part of the disputed French region of Mayotte. Madagascar claims Juan de Nova, and Europa and Bassas da India since 1972. Seychelles claimed a part of Scattered Islands too before the France–Seychelles Maritime Boundary Agreement.
Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean
Îles Éparses de l'océan Indien
Anthem: La Marseillaise
|Glorioso Islands (Banc du Geyser included)||11||5||29.6||48350||North Mozambique Channel|
|Juan de Nova Island||14||4.4||(1)||61050||Central Mozambique Channel|
|Bassas da India||-||0.2||79.8||123700||South Mozambique Channel|
|Europa Island||12||28||9||127300||South Mozambique Channel|
|Tromelin Island||19||0.8||-||280000||Western Indian Ocean|
Since January 3, 2005, the Îles Éparses have been administered on behalf of the French state by the senior administrator of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF — les Terres Australes et Antartiques Françaises), based in Réunion. The Îles Éparses had previously been under the administration of the prefect of Réunion since the independence of Madagascar in 1960. France maintains a military garrison of around 14 troops on each of the islands in the Mozambique Channel that are claimed by Madagascar. The Glorioso Islands are also claimed by the Comoros, while Mauritius claims Tromelin Island.
France claims an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles (370 km) around each of the small islands in the Îles Éparses, which together with the EEZ claims for the islands of Réunion and Mayotte totals more than one million square kilometres (400,000 sq mi) in the western Indian Ocean. There is considerable overlap of the EEZ with the neighbouring states.
The administrative divisions of France are concerned with the institutional and territorial organization of French territory. These territories are located in many parts of the world. There are many administrative divisions, which may have political (local government), electoral (districts), or administrative (decentralized services of the state) objectives. All the inhabited territories are represented in the National Assembly, Senate and Economic and Social Council and their citizens have French citizenship.Banc du Geyser
Banc du Geyser (also Banc du Geysir) is a mostly submerged reef in the Mozambique Channel's northeastern part, 125 km (78 mi) northeast from Mayotte, 112 km (70 mi) southwest of the Glorioso Islands, and 200 km (124 mi) off the northwestern coast of Madagascar.
The Banc is a dangerous oval-shaped reef 8 km (5 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide that becomes exposed only at low tides, with the exception of some rock formations in the southern part of the reef. The rocks are generally 1.5 to 3 m (4 ft 11.1 in to 9 ft 10.1 in) in height; the largest is South Rock, with a height of 8 m (26 ft), similar to a boat under sail. In the eastern part of the reef there are some sandy cays, 1 to 3 m (3 ft 3 in to 9 ft 10 in) in height covered with grass and small bushes. The entrance into the central lagoon is possible from a south-southeastern direction. There is an abundance of sea birds, and the cays are covered in tons of guano.
The Geysir Reef was first known by Arab sailors around the year 700, and was shown on some navigation-charts dated around 800. Around 1650 the reef was shown on Spanish maps as Arecife de Santo Antonio. The current name was given on 23 December 1678, when the British vessel Geysir ran on the reef.
France and the Comoros claim the Banc du Geyser as part of their exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The reef is also claimed by Madagascar. From the French point of view, it is part of the EEZ of Glorioso Islands, one of their Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean. Madagascar announced its annexation in 1976, presumably because of the possibility of oil fields in the vicinity but the Banc du Geyser is controlled in fact by the French forces armées de la zone sud de l'océan Indien. In 2012, France included the reef in the parc naturel marin des Glorieuses, a marine protected area, to preserve the endangered flora and fauna of Glorioso Islands.
About 20 km (12 mi) southwest of Geysir is Zélée Bank, a deep submarine feature.Comoro Islands
The Comoro Islands or Comoros (Shikomori Komori; Arabic: جزر القمر, Juzur al-Qomor; French Les Comores) form an archipelago of volcanic islands situated off the south-east coast of Africa, to the east of Mozambique and north-west of Madagascar. The islet of Banc du Geyser and the Glorioso Islands are part of the archipelago. The islands are politically divided between Union of the Comoros (pop. 850,688) and two territories of France : the department of Mayotte (pop. 270,372) and the Glorioso Islands, a part of the Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean, the 5th district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.Enlargement of the African Union
When the African Union (AU) was founded in 2002, it represented almost the entire African continent. As the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), founded in 1963, its membership was inherited from that body. Currently, the AU has 55 member states. Growth in the OAU typically came from post-colonial independence; as decolonization ended, the borders of the OAU had overlapped almost all of Africa.Enlargement of the European Union
The European Union (EU) has expanded a number of times throughout its history by way of the accession of new member states to the Union. To join the EU, a state needs to fulfil economic and political conditions called the Copenhagen criteria (after the Copenhagen summit in June 1993), which require a stable democratic government that respects the rule of law, and its corresponding freedoms and institutions. According to the Maastricht Treaty, each current member state and the European Parliament must agree to any enlargement. The process of enlargement is sometimes referred to as European integration. This term is also used to refer to the intensification of co-operation between EU member states as national governments allow for the gradual harmonisation of national laws.
The EU's predecessor, the European Economic Community, was founded with the Inner Six member states in 1958, when the Treaty of Rome came into force. Since then, the EU's membership has grown to twenty-eight, with the latest member state being Croatia, which joined in July 2013. The most recent territorial enlargement of the EU was the incorporation of Mayotte in 2014. The most notable territorial reductions of the EU, and its predecessors, were the exit of Algeria upon independence in 1962 and the exit of Greenland in 1985.
As of 2018, accession negotiations are under way with Serbia (since 2014), Montenegro (since 2012) and Turkey (since 2005). Serbia and Montenegro have been described by President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and Enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn as the front-runner candidates, and projected that they would join by 2025, during the next mandate of the European Commission. Negotiations with Turkey have also been ongoing at a slower pace, particularly since the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt due to objections from the EU to the Turkish government's response. Additionally, the United Kingdom is negotiating its withdrawal from the EU, following a referendum in which a majority voted in favour of leaving the EU.Europa Island
Europa Island (French: Île Europa) is a 28-square-kilometre (11 sq mi) low-lying tropical atoll in the Mozambique Channel, about a third of the way from southern Madagascar to southern Mozambique. The island had never been inhabited until 1820, when the French family Rosier moved to it. The island officially became a possession of France in 1897.
The island, garrisoned by a detachment from Réunion, has a weather station and is visited by scientists. Though uninhabited, it is part of the "Scattered Islands" of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands administrative region.
Europa Island was the setting of a 1968 episode of "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau", partly focusing on the breeding habits of the green sea turtle.Evolution of the French Empire
The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule from the 17th century to the late 1970s. In terms of land area, the empire extended to over 13,000,000 square kilometres (5,000,000 sq mi) at its peak, towards the beginning of the 20th century.
This is a list of all territories that were part of the French colonial empires in the last 500 years, either entirely or in part, either under French sovereignty or as mandate or protectorate. When only a part of the country was under French rule, that part is listed in parentheses after the country. When there are no parentheses, it means the whole country was formerly part of any one of the French colonial empires. Countries listed are those where French sovereignty applied effectively. Areas that were only claimed, but not effectively controlled (such as Manhattan or Western Australia) are not listed.
"1st" means the country/territory was part of the first French colonial empire.
"2nd" means the country/territory was part of the second French colonial empire.
"Now" means this is a territory still part of the French Republic today.French Southern and Antarctic Lands
The French Southern and Antarctic Lands (French: Terres australes et antarctiques françaises, TAAF) is an overseas territory (French: Territoire d'outre-mer or TOM) of France. It consists of:
Kerguelen Islands (Archipel des Kerguelen), a group of volcanic islands in the southern Indian Ocean, southeast of Africa, approximately equidistant between Africa, Antarctica and Australia;
St. Paul and Amsterdam islands (Îles Saint Paul et Amsterdam), a group to the north of Kerguelen;
Crozet Islands (Îles Crozet), a group in the southern Indian Ocean, south of Madagascar;
Adélie Land (Terre Adélie), the French claim on the continent of Antarctica;
the Scattered Islands (Îles Éparses), a dispersed group of islands around the coast of Madagascar.The territory is sometimes referred to as the French Southern Lands (French: Terres australes françaises) or French Southern Territories, usually to emphasize non-recognition of French sovereignty over Adélie Land as part of the Antarctic Treaty system.
The territory has no permanent civilian population. Those resident consist of visiting military personnel, officials, scientific researchers and support staff.Juan de Nova Island
Juan de Nova Island (French: Île Juan da Nova (official), Île Juan de Nova (local)), also known as Saint-Christophe, is a French tropical island in the narrowest part of the Mozambique Channel, about one-third of the way between Madagascar and Mozambique. It is a low, flat island, 4.4 square kilometres (1.7 sq mi) in size.
Anchorage is possible off the northeast of the island which also has a 1,300 metres (4,300 ft) airstrip. Administratively, the island is one of the Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean, a district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
The island is garrisoned by French troops from Réunion and has a weather station.Kerguelen Islands
The Kerguelen Islands ( or ; in French commonly Îles Kerguelen but officially Archipel des Kerguelen, pronounced [kɛʁɡelɛn]), also known as the Desolation Islands (Îles de la Désolation in French), are a group of islands in the Antarctic constituting one of the two exposed parts of the Kerguelen Plateau, a large igneous province mostly submerged by the southern Indian Ocean. They are among the most isolated places on Earth, located 450 km (280 mi) northwest of the uninhabited Heard Island and McDonald Islands and more than 3,300 km (2,100 mi) from Madagascar, the nearest populated location (excluding the Alfred Faure scientific station in Île de la Possession, about 1,340 km, 830 mi from there, and the non-permanent station located in Île Amsterdam, 1,440 km, 890 mi away). The islands, along with Adélie Land, the Crozet Islands, Amsterdam and Saint Paul Islands, and France's Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean, are part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands and are administered as a separate district.
The main island, Grande Terre, is 6,675 km2 (2,577 sq mi) in area and is surrounded by a further 300 smaller islands and islets, forming an archipelago of 7,215 km2 (2,786 sq mi). The climate is raw and chilly with frequent high winds throughout the year. The surrounding seas are generally rough and they remain ice-free year-round. There are no indigenous inhabitants, but France maintains a permanent presence of 45 to 100 soldiers, scientists, engineers and researchers. There are no airports on the islands, so all travel and transport from the outside world is conducted by ship.List of French islands in the Indian and Pacific oceans
This is a list of French islands in the Indian and Pacific oceans.List of UTC time offsets
This is a list of the UTC time offsets, showing the difference in hours and minutes from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), from the westernmost (−12:00) to the easternmost (+14:00). It includes countries and regions that observe them during standard time or year-round.
The main purpose of this page is to list the standard time offsets of different countries, territories and regions. Information on daylight saving time or historical changes in offsets can be found in the individual offset articles (e.g. UTC+01:00), or the country-specific time articles (e.g. Time in Russia).
Places that observe daylight saving time (DST) during their respective summer periods are listed only once, at the offset for their winter (usually known as "standard") period; see their individual articles for more information. A source for detailed DST and historical information is the tz database. Note that there are many instances of unofficial observation of a different offset (and/or DST) than expected by areas close to borders, usually for economic reasons.In the section names, the letter after the offset is that used in nautical time. If present, a dagger (†) indicates the usage of a nautical time zone letter outside of the standard geographic definition of that time zone.
Some locations use the term GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) instead of UTC in their definition of local time. (For most purposes, including this article, this distinction is not significant; see the UTC article for details.)
Some zones that are north/south of each other in the mid Pacific differ by 24 hours in time – they have the same time of day but dates that are one day apart. The two extreme time zones on Earth (both in the mid Pacific) differ by 26 hours.
In the following list, only the rightmost indent of a group of locations is meant to indicate the area observing the offset; the places above and to the left are meant solely to indicate the area's parent administrative divisions. For example, the entry of Eucla explains that Eucla observes the specified time offset, and the state (Western Australia) and country (Australia) are shown only for reference and are not meant to be wholly included as observing that offset.
The purpose of the "principal cities" list at the top of some of the time zone entries is to give a brief list of major cities. These should be limited to a maximum of one city per country (within each zone), and not all countries in a zone need to have a city listed. Similarly, time zones need not have any cities listed if there are no major cities in that offset.List of time zones by country
This is a list representing time zones by country. Countries are ranked by total number of time zones on their territory. Time zones of a country include that of dependent territories (except Antarctic claims). France, including its overseas territories, has the most time zones with 12. Many countries have daylight saving time, one added hour during the local summer, but this list does not include that information. The UTC offset in the list is not valid in practice during daylight saving time.Mozambique Channel
The Mozambique Channel (French: Canal du Mozambique, Malagasy: Lakandranon'i Mozambika, Portuguese: Canal de Moçambique) is an arm of the Indian Ocean located between the Southeast African countries of Madagascar and Mozambique. The channel is about 1,600 km (1,000 mi) long and 419 km (260 mi) across at its narrowest point, and reaches a depth of 3,292 m (10,800 ft) about 230 km (143 mi) off the coast of Mozambique. A warm current, the Mozambique Current, flows in a southward direction in the channel, leading into the Agulhas Current off the east coast of South Africa.Overseas France
Overseas France (French: France d'outre-mer) consists of all the French-administered territories outside the European continent, mostly relics of the French colonial empire. These territories have varying legal status and different levels of autonomy, although all (except those with no permanent inhabitants) have representation in both France's National Assembly and Senate, which together make up the French Parliament. Their citizens have French nationality and vote for the president of France. They have the right to vote in elections to the European Parliament (French citizens living overseas currently vote in the Overseas constituency). Overseas France includes island territories in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, French Guiana on the South American continent, and several periantarctic islands as well as a claim in Antarctica.
Almost all inhabited French administrative divisions outside Europe are classified as either overseas regions or overseas collectivities; these statuses are very different from one another from a legal and administrative standpoint. Overseas regions have exactly the same status as mainland France's regions. The French constitution provides that, in general, French laws and regulations (France's civil code, penal code, administrative law, social laws, tax laws, etc.) apply to French overseas regions the same as in mainland France, but can be adapted as needed to suit the region's particular needs. Hence, the local administrations of French overseas regions cannot themselves pass new laws, whereas the overseas collectivities are empowered to make their own laws, except in certain areas reserved to the French national government (such as defense, international relations, trade and currency, and judicial and administrative law). The overseas collectivities are governed by local elected assemblies and by the French Parliament and French government, with a cabinet member, the Minister of Overseas France, in charge of issues related to the overseas territories. (New Caledonia is neither an overseas region nor an overseas collectivity; it has a sui generis status, in keeping with the Nouméa Accord.)
Overseas France covers a land area of 119,396 km2 (46,099 sq mi) and accounts for 18.0% of the French Republic's land territory. It has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 9,825,538 km2 (3,793,661 sq mi) and accounts for 96.7% of the EEZ of the French Republic (excluding the district of Adélie Land, part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, where the French sovereignty is effective de jure by French law, but where the French exclusive claim on this part of Antarctica is frozen by a mandatory international cooperation since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959).Varuna (naval exercise)
The annually held Varuna naval exercise is an integral part of France–India strategic relationship in the 21st century and consists of naval cooperation drills between the French Navy and the Indian Navy.
The joint-exercises are held either in the Indian Ocean or Mediterranean sea with the aim of improving Indo-French coordination on capabilities like cross-deck operations, replenishment-at-sea, minesweeping, anti-submarine warfare and information sharing.
2015 Varuna exercises will focus on theatre-level Indo-French military cooperation in aero-naval and anti-submarine warfare. A French battle-group led by French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) and carrying aero-naval version of Rafale aircraft will operate alongside the Western Naval Command.
France is Littoral State of the Indian Ocean through the French Overseas region of Réunion, Mayotte & Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean.
The inaugural Varuna naval exercise took place in 2001.Virgin Islands
The Virgin Islands are geologically and biogeographically the easternmost part of the Greater Antilles, the northern islands belonging to the Puerto Rican Bank and St. Croix being a displaced part of the same geologic structure. Politically, the British Virgin Islands have been governed as the western island group of the Leeward Islands, which are the northern part of the Lesser Antilles, and form the border between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The archipelago is separated from the true Lesser Antilles by the Anegada Passage and from the main island of Puerto Rico by the Virgin Passage.
The islands fall into three different political jurisdictions:
British Virgin Islands, a British overseas territory,
United States Virgin Islands, an unincorporated territory of the United States,
Spanish (or Puerto Rican) Virgin Islands, the easternmost islands of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, itself an unincorporated territory of the United States.
Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean
Districts of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands
Outlying territories of European countries
Territories under European sovereignty but closer to or on continents other than Europe (see inclusion criteria for further information).
1 Unclear sovereignty.