In brief

Corsican government report suggests three roads to autonomy

Study author says no major legal issues exist, but rather cultural: “Jacobinism”

Mastor and Simeoni in the report's presentation.
Mastor and Simeoni in the report's presentation. Author: Cullettività di Corsica
The Corsican government has unveiled a report on how a statute of autonomy for Corsica could fit in the French Constitution, a proposal that seeks a “political solution” to a “historic” conflict, according to Corsican President Gilles Simeoni.

The report, written by jurist and professor at University of Toulouse 1 Wanda Mastor, mentions three possible roads to autonomy. One, “a minima”, is to add a new article 72.5 to the Constitution, which would allow Corsica to “adapt some laws to local specificities.” It would not bring about legislative autonomy, as it would allow the proposed second road, that of a new article 74.2, in which Corsica “could pass its own laws without going through the Paris filter”. The third way, “a maxima”, would involve drafting a whole new title in the Constitution that would open the door to Corsica’s “access to full sovereignty”, inspired by title XIII on New Caledonia.

Mastor said the study, commissioned by the Corsican government, shows that no major legal issues exist on the concept of Corsica’s autonomy being inscribed in the French constitution, but rather “a cultural brake: Jacobinism.”

The document emphasizes, in any case, that this is an issue that will have to be debated by political representatives. It is “a starting point for debate,” says Simeoni, who has called on candidates to the 2022 French presidential election to take a stand on the Corsican proposal.

Successive French governments and presidents have so far rejected the notion of granting Corsica law-making powers.

According to the Corsican president, the statute of autonomy is “a point of balance between the forces that are [Corsican] nationalist and those that are not.”

The report also proposes ways for the constitutional recognition of the Corsican people and for the use of immersive teaching of minoritised languages in schools, which was declared unconstitutional in May 2021.