This is also known as free association.
|Table of contents|
2 Constitutional Links and Political Integration
3 External Links
Examples of this include the relationship of the Cook Islands with New Zealand, and Puerto Rico with the United States as a 'Commonwealth' (estado libre asociado in Spanish). The Northern Marianas, formerly a US Trust Territory, now enjoy a similar status as a Commonwealth of the US. The relationship of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands with the US is known as the Compact of Free Association.
Constitutional Links and Political Integration
The constitutional links to the sovereign power can include citizenship, although the associated state may have its own immigration policy, and currency. However, the associated state does not usually have any political integration with the sovereign power, on the grounds that it is a separate jurisdiction with its own government and legislature. For example, Puerto Rico's status means that it only has a non-voting Resident Commissioner in the United States Congress as its residents do not pay US federal taxes. By contrast, the Cook Islands have no representation at all in the New Zealand Parliament, but this is because New Zealand laws have no application in the Islands.
Since 1998, New Caledonia has enjoyed a similar relationship with France as an 'overseas country' (pays d'outre-mer in French) which includes the right to full independence if it so desires, although it continues to have representation in the French parliament.
Foreign affairs are generally handled by the sovereign power, but an associated state can operate its own diplomatic missions, independently of that country, as is the case of the Cook Islands, which has its own missions in several neighbouring countries, including New Zealand.
A similar relationship existed between the United Kingdom and its former colonies of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Vincent in the Caribbean, under the Associated Statehood Act 1967. Under this arrangement, each State had full control, over its Constitution, although all of them have since been granted full independence.