Great national debate: The findings of volunteer citizens in Saint-Martin


As part of the great national debate, the prefecture organized a local citizens' conference locally.

Citizens' Conferences are participatory workshops that take place over half a day. Citizens drawn by lot and representative of the sociological diversity of a territory work collectively on a diagnosis and proposals within the framework of the Great National Debate (GDN). 13 Conferences are organized in metropolitan regions, 5 are organized in Overseas, 2 in Overseas communities, a conference dedicated to youth is organized at national level; or 21 citizen conferences in total. The first conference in Saint-Martin took place on March 19.

Six citizen volunteers have been appointed. Sixteen people (ten women and six men) had applied following the call for applications in early March. They exchanged on the four themes of the great national debate. Here are their observations.

 The ecological transition

Ecology is perceived as bringing nothing "more" into everyday life. On the other hand, volunteer citizens say they are very sensitive to the image of their island. They want a cleaner, safer island. The “recovery of waste” aspect is addressed. The presence of plastic bags and other debris is pointed out (bags prohibited but used on the French part, sachets with systematic use on the Dutch part). A participant regrets that there are no more bins to collect plastic bottles and that there is no longer any plastic recycling sector on Saint-Martin.

 Taxation and public spending

The panel stresses the difficulty of understanding the calculation of taxes and the implementation of resident status in Saint-Martin. He also reviews the establishment and then the abandonment of a mandatory tax of € 100 for all residents of the island (taxable and non-taxable). He claims to find this measure unjust and applauds its disappearance. He asked for a better distribution of the tax according to the income of each. They declare themselves against the compulsory tax for all citizens and favor real progressiveness. Participants expressed concern about the lack of control over bad payers and the use of public money.

 Democracy and citizenship

In Saint-Martin, a distinction must be made between being of French nationality and being a citizen. For the panel it is indeed 2 different things and not mutually exclusive. Citizens must be concerned with what is happening in Saint Martin. Citizenship must be learned at school.

The organization of the state and public services

The panel does not understand the distinction between powers of the State and powers of the single authority. He regrets the old division with municipalities, a department and a region which was much more readable. He claims that Saint-Martin was not ready to pass article 74. He disputes the legitimacy of the vote ("the vote is not representative") and points to a lack of information and a low turnout.

 Profile of citizen volunteers

The profiles of the panel are varied with 1 unemployed person, 2 retirees, 2 employees in the public sector and 1 entrepreneur.
1 person calls himself "native Saint-Martin", 1 person has always lived in Saint-Martin but was not born there, 2 people are from Guadeloupe, 1 from mainland France and 1 from the United Kingdom. These last 5 people have lived in Saint Martin for more than 20 years.

All emphasize their attachment to the island of Saint-Martin and their involvement in local public life.
1 person was a candidate in the last local elections, 2 people are representatives of the District Council, 3 people are involved in associations, 1 person is a volunteer trainer.

4 citizen volunteers have children. These children were born and raised on the island of Saint-Martin. These parents draw attention to the fact that they are young people in despair, confronted with a school of “failure” and with structural dysfunctions.


Funds to set up crime prevention actions

The level of violent crime remains a concern. Violence in the family sphere is far too frequent in our territory. In no case can this violence be trivialized.

Pending the new national delinquency prevention strategy 2019-2024, which is currently being developed, the priorities of the national strategy 2013-2017 are maintained for 2019.

As a result, this call for projects with a view to benefiting from the 2019 FIPD credits is declined in the following three action programs:

• actions to prevent delinquency of minors and young adults by favoring individualized approaches;

• actions to improve the prevention of violence against women, domestic violence and assistance to victims;

• actions to improve public tranquility.

This crime prevention policy is a public policy in its own right which has as its objective the sustainable improvement of public security and tranquility as close as possible to all areas of daily life. It is located at the confluence of the educational, social, professional integration, security and justice fields.

Beyond so-called “primary” prevention of an educational and social nature and aimed at large audiences, this prevention must be based on individualized approaches and translate into targeted “secondary” prevention actions, geared towards young people exposed to a first passage to the delinquent act, and "tertiary" of prevention of the recidivism.

Prevention actions
youth crime

Goal : avoid the tilting and entrenchment of young people in delinquency according to a logic of individualized care.

Target audience : adolescents and young adults (12 to 25 years of age) most exposed to delinquency and identified within the framework of the local council for security and prevention of delinquency (CLSPD) and the city's political authorities.

Actions should therefore be addressed as a priority to:

• young delinquents, adults and minors, coming out of prison or with many criminal records;

• young people who left the school system without qualification or diploma, first-time offenders;

• minors or young adults under the care of justice, young repeat or repeat offenders;

• school dropouts, young people exposed to the risks of delinquency through risky or disruptive behavior

The request for subsidy must be presented under the form cerfa n ° 12156 * 05 (downloadable on the website (

Deadline for submitting files: 

April 26th

The files must be sent by post to the following address: 

Prefecture of Saint Barthélémy and Saint Martin Cabinet AAP FIPD 2019 23 rue de spring 97 150 MARIGOT

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