Overseas country is the new designation for the overseas collectivity of French Polynesia. French Polynesia was formerly an overseas territory until the constitutional reform on 28 March 2003 created the overseas collectivities. Then, on 27 February 2004 a law was passed giving French Polynesia the particular designation of overseas country while recalling that it belongs to the category of overseas collectivity. However, the Constitutional Council of France ruled that this description was merely a designation and not a legal status, as that would have been unconstitutional.
The territory's new status meant a certain autonomy for French Polynesia in the Pacific region which translated into the transfer of new areas of legal responsibility (civil law, commercial law, labour law) while protecting its autonomy regarding health, development and town planning and the environment. In addition, they now have the power to oppose the application in French Polynesia of laws voted by the French Parliament which do not respect these areas of responsibility. Furthermore, it established French Polynesian citizenship based on permanent residency, which is a requirement for the right to vote in regional elections. However, France maintains control over justice, security and public order, currency, defence, and foreign policy.
The Gambier Islands or Mangareva Islands (French: Îles Gambier or Archipel des Gambier) are a small group of islands in French Polynesia, located at the southeast terminus of the Tuamotu archipelago. They are generally considered a separate island group from Tuamotu both because their culture and language (Mangarevan) are much more closely related to those of the Marquesas Islands, and because, while the Tuamotus comprise several chains of coral atolls, the Gambiers are of volcanic origin. Because of their proximity, the Acteon Group, and the nearby atoll of Temoe ( ) are sometimes included among the Gambiers.