In brief

Corsican parties between “hope” and rejection of “red lines” as autonomy talks resume

Macron proposes to include new status in 2024 constitutional reform

Femu a Corsica press conference evaluating the resumption of talks.
Femu a Corsica press conference evaluating the resumption of talks. Author: Femu a Corsica
Having been stalled since October, the Corsican government says talks on the island’s autonomy have been resumed. 2024 is the updated target date to conclude the process, as French President Emmanuel Macron wants to approve at that moment an amendment to the Constitution that could include some sort of autonomy for Corsica.

Two weeks ago, Macron explained that there were no “taboos” or “predetermined solutions” to the political conflict in Corsica. The president was open to autonomy for the island, albeit with two “red lines”, namely that Corsica should remain part of France and that there should not be “two categories of citizens.”

Macron hopes to meet before the summer with the French government and Corsican elected officials to continue talks. The president has asked to be presented with “a proposal” that could be included in the upcoming constitutional reform.

The governing party of the Corsican Executive Council, Femu a Corsica, sees a path “of hope” and admits that all parties will need to compromise to reach an agreement. According to the pro-autonomy party, Paris should prioritize the sense of Corsicans’ vote. In the last three Corsican elections, the pro-autonomy and pro-independence parties have been the most voted for. In the most recent Corsican election, in 2021, they obtained 68% of the votes.

The main pro-independence coalition in the Corsican Assembly Core in Fronte has rejected Macron’s notion of “red lines,” as has Femu a Corsica. The pro-independence party wants the future statute to foresee a way to exercise self-determination. They also recall the importance of the statute explicitly stating that Corsica will be granted legislative powers. In the French political tradition, the concept of “autonomy” is sometimes limited to the devolution of executive powers.