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A territorial collectivity (or territorial authority,French: collectivité territoriale, previously collectivité locale) is a chartered subdivision of France, with recognized governing authority. It is the generic name for any subdivision (subnational entity) with an elective form of local government and local regulatory authority. The nature of a French territorial collectivity is set forth in Article 72 of the French constitution of 1958, which provides for local autonomy within limits prescribed by law.
New Caledonia is the only French local government that is not a collectivité territoriale. It has its own articles in the French constitution. Since it cannot be categorized, it is sometimes unofficially called a collectivité sui generis (although "collectivity" is not, strictly speaking, a legal category). It is also unofficially called a pays (d'outre-mer), because its local legislative assembly (the congress) can rule using its own lois du pays.
The régions are divided into départements: ROMs are divided into DOMs; New Caledonia is divided into provinces; départements, COMs (except Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, and Wallis and Futuna), DOMs, and provinces all are divided into communes.
The commune of Poya is the only French subdivision assigned to two upper-level units (the provinces of North and South).
Paris and some overseas entities belong to two categories.
Paris is both a département and a commune. It has one mayor and one assembly.
The category of overseas territory (territoires d'outre-mer) was eliminated under the constitutional reform of 28 March 2003. French Southern Territories is still a TOM, but this is now a particular designation, not a category. This uninhabited territory no longer is a collectivité territoriale.
Mayotte and Saint Pierre and Miquelon used to be collectivités territoriales belonging to no category (but with a status close to that of a DOM), sometimes unofficially called collectivité territoriale à statut particulier, or collectivité territoriale d'outre-mer.