After having explored, at least at a shallow depth, the more or less brackish waters of politics in the Yvelines (west of the Ile-de-France region), I propose to gain altitude and breath a different air. Let’s move from the local level to that of our continent, Europe, to see how Europe has influenced our daily lives, and continues to do so. By traveling quickly through time, from the France of Louis XIV, which enjoyed the status of the first demographic power of the old continent in the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries, to the European Union of today, we will see how French centralization of the past could begin to retreat and give way to a better distribution of the territorial tensions on France. We have to go through this territorial balancing, proposed (consciously or not) by the EU, for a more harmonious development both from an economic, social and environmental point of view.
In the following articles, as promised despite very rich news (which will perhaps lead us to make a few trips back and forth to the Ile-de-France region), we will discuss about the territorial margins of France, I mean the islands, and we will travel, for example, to Hoedic, Houat and Belle-Ile. These isolated lands, even when they are only about ten nautical miles from the mainland, are surrounded by a natural element (the sea) considered hostile by both geographers and sailors. But they are strategically important in the development of the maritime domain of France or otherwise called the Exclusive Economic Zone (200 nautical miles from the shore): the second largest in the world (11 million km²) just after that of the USA (11.4 million km²). These islands can also serve as witnesses to our will and ability to decentralize our country. If we are able to develop our near or far islands, then we will show that we can truly create, finally, a balanced partnership between the different French poles not only in the overseas territories but also within the hexagon.
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I wish you a safe journey through time and space.
Bertrand de Foucauld