"Saint Martin was for many years a French commune forming part of Guadeloupe, which is an overseas région and département of France and is therefore in the European Union. In 2003 the population of the French part of the island voted in favour of secession from Guadeloupe in order to form a separate overseas collectivity (COM) of France. On 9 February 2007, the French Parliament passed a bill granting COM status to both the French part of Saint Martin and (separately) the neighbouring Saint Barthélemy. The new status took effect once the local assembly was elected on 15 February 2007. Saint Martin remains part of the European Union."