The French Settlements in Oceania (French: Établissements Français de l'Océanie, EFO), sometimes called French Polynesia, is territory of the French Union. It is made up of several groups of Polynesian islands, the most famous island being Tahiti in the Society Islands group, which is also the most populous island and the seat of the capital of the EFO.
The EFO is notable for being a popular tourism attraction for French and Europeans since the 1930s. During the Great Pacific War it served has the main naval base and headquarters of the French Navy.
Large attributions of internal government and representation were given by the Organic Law of Internal Government of the EFO (Loi organique de gouvernement interne de l'EFO, LOGI 1937) in two phases (1938 fully elected local government and 1939 territorial assembly)
The Governor-General is the executive and administrative chief of the EFO. He is assisted by a Council of Administrarion (Conseil d'administration).
The main and sole representative body until 1939 was a council called Délégations économiques et financières (DEF). The DEF was elected by local business interests. In 1939 the second phase of the LOGI came into affect establishing and calling for elections of the Territorial Assembly (Assemblée territoriale) and the integration of the DEF was changed and renamed Economic and Social Council of EFO (CES de l'EFO).
The EFO has five administrative subdivisions (French: subdivisions administratives):
- Marquesas Islands (French: (les) (Îles) Marquises or officially la subdivision administrative des (Îles) Marquises)
- Leeward Islands (French: (les) Îles Sous-le-Vent or officially la subdivision administrative des Îles Sous-le-Vent) (the two subdivisions administratives Windward Islands and Leeward Islands are part of the Society Islands)
- Windward Islands (French: (les) Îles du Vent or officially la subdivision administrative des Îles du Vent) (the two subdivisions administratives Windward Islands and Leeward Islands are part of the Society Islands)
- Tuāmotu-Gambier (French: (les) (Îles) Tuamotu-Gambier or officially la subdivision administrative des (Îles) Tuamotu-Gambier) (the Tuamotus and the Gambier Islands)
- Austral Islands (French: (les) (Îles) Australes or officially la subdivision administrative des (Îles) Australes) (including the Bass Islands)
Papeete became a commune with an elected council, like the ones of Metropolitan France since 1890. Each district as an elected district council.
The main political issue of French Polynesia is autonomy or independence. Both camps however have in common that they have proposed various political and social reforms and economic development. The main automonist party is Social Union of Polynesia (Union sociale de la Polynésie, USP) also an overseas affiliate of the social republicans. The Rally of the People of Tahiti (Rassemblement du peuple de Tahiti, RPT) is the independentist party.
French Polynesia also elects deputies and senators to the French parliament and votes in the presidential elections since 1935, restricted to registered French citizens.
Its main agricultural outpust are coconuts, vanilla, vegetables and tropical fruits. Natural resources of importance are timber and cobalt. A major export which the EFO is famous are the black Tahitian pearls.
The EFO is dependent on financial assistance of the French union and mainland France. The main economic activity is tourism. Since the 1930s tourist facilities are being developed and available on the major islands of the EFO.
The main link is the airship terminal and airport at Papeete. This is also the main hub for seaships of the EFO.