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EU Relations with French Southern Territories

The French Southern and Antarctic Territories (TAAF – Terres australes et antarctiques françaises) became a French Territory in 1955. They comprise the Crozet Archipelago, the Kerguelen Archipelago, Amsterdam and Saint-Paul islands, Adélie Land and the Scattered Islands (Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova, Europa, Bassas da India and Tromelin).


The TAAF are divided in districts that are not inhabited by a permanent population but that host from 50 to 100 scientists whom stay vary from 6 months to one year.

Twenty research laboratories are involved in scientific programs concerning earth and universe sciences (seismology, glaciology, magnetism, astrophysics…) and natural sciences. Adelie Land, the Southern islands and the Scattered Islands are privileged areas to conduct surveillance operations: satellite supervision by the Centre national d'Etudes spatiales (CNES), cyclones and tsunamis alerts by Météo France, enforcement of the Comprehensive Test Ban by the Commissariat à l'Energie atomique (CEA).

Fishing is the most important economic activity in the TAAF. It is based on an active synergy between the French State, scientists and ship-owners, within a framework of annual catch authorizations for each species.

The sub Antarctic French islands, being isolated from human activity centres, are wildlife and flora sanctuaries. Crozet, Kerguelen, Saint-Paul and Amsterdam constitute the national natural reserve of the French Southern Territories, which is the biggest natural reserve in France.

Political situation

The TAAF are under the authority of a prefect who is at the same time the representative of the French State and the person responsible for the territory. He is represented in each district by a chief of district. Since 2000, the headquarters of the TAAF have been located in saint-Pierre (La Réunion Island).

Relations with the EU

The TAAF are an Overseas Country and Territory associated to the European Community. They do not receive any territorial allocation from the 10th EDF.

Relations with international community

The French Southern and Antarctic Territories do not have independent international relations at the political level. However, they are represented in French delegations to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCM) and to the meetings of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

Last update: 17/02/2012 | Top