Wonderful island: half of the year belongs to France, half of the year belongs to Spain

  Faisan Island is about 210 meters long from east to west, 40 meters wide from north to south, and covers an area of ​​6,820 square meters. France and Spain take turns to exercise sovereignty over this small island, which is not as big as a football field, and rotate every six months. So far, France and Spain have carried out more than 700 handovers of sovereignty. What is the reason for such a wonderful management model of Feisang Island?
  There are many disputed territories in the world. In order to resolve territorial disputes, some countries will control the disputed territories in a way of sharing sovereignty at the same time. There is a special type of co-administration in the co-administration territory – time co-administration, which means that the co-administration countries each have part of the time to enjoy sovereignty. There is only one example of this model in the world, and that is the French and Spanish island of Faisan.
   Faisan Island is about 210 meters long from east to west, 40 meters wide from north to south, and covers an area of ​​6,820 square meters. France and Spain take turns to exercise sovereignty over this small island, which is not as big as a football field, and rotate every six months.
   Faisan Island is located in the middle of the Bidasoa River, which originates from the Pyrenees and flows west into the Atlantic Ocean. So far, France and Spain have carried out more than 700 handovers of sovereignty. What is the reason for such a wonderful management model of Feisang Island?
  The “Sad Land” of the French King
   Today, France and Spain take the Pyrenees Mountains as the land border, which was gradually demarcated during the formation of the two nation-states of France and Spain from the 9th to the 15th century AD. With the gradual formation of nation-states, both France and Spain wanted to dominate Western Europe, and in the early 16th century Spain was jointly ruled by Queen Juana and her son Charles V. Due to Juana’s mental disorder, Charles V became the actual ruler of Spain, and the conflict between France and Spain also broke out during the reign of Charles V.
   France and Spain first fought over the then divided Italian peninsula. The French king was defeated at the Battle of Pavia in 1525, captured by the Spanish and imprisoned in Madrid. After giving up Italian and Dutch territorial claims, the French king was allowed to return, but the Spaniards asked two French princes to replace their father as captives.
   In order to prevent both the king and the prince from falling into Spanish hands, the French demanded an exchange of prisoners on the French-Spanish border. The Spaniards only wanted to implement the treaty money as soon as possible, and had no intention of making any extras on the hostage issue, so they agreed to the French’s request, but only on the Spanish side. As a result, Faisan Island, on the border between France and Spain and under Spanish rule, became a historical witness to this exchange of royal hostages. Since then, the island of Faisan has witnessed a major historical moment of Franco-Spanish diplomacy.
  Witnessing the History of the “Island of Diplomacy”
   In 1610, Louis XIII succeeded the king of France. Due to his young age, French rule was held by his mother. The Queen Mother, who is less than 40 years old, is short-sighted and wants to get sworn enemy Spain to support French expansion. In order to achieve this, she changed the national policy of France against Spain and forced her son and daughter to come to Faisan in 1615 to meet King Philip IV of Spain and his sister Anne. This is a 17th century “top blind date”, aiming to realize the marriage of the two royal families of France and Spain.
   Although France and Spain are married, this does not affect the patronage of the god of war. In 1618, Ferdinand from the Habsburg family became the new emperor of the Roman Empire. Ferdinand’s Catholic faith caused panic among Protestants in the empire, and the war between the two factions broke out. Other European countries chose sides to join the war one after another. Spain joined the Catholic League because of its belief in Catholicism and blood ties with the Habsburg family. In order to seize the land of the Roman Empire and at the same time want to weaken the Catholic power in the country, France chose to join the Protestant Alliance. France and Spain faced each other again, and the war lasted for 30 years. The Protestant confederate France gained many territories in the war, laying the foundations for its domination of Western Europe.
   In 1649, the “Shots” uprising broke out in France, and Spain took advantage of the fire and invaded France. After France quelled the rebellion, it quickly contacted Britain to deal with Spain. Under the joint attack of Britain and France, Spain gradually lost its support and was forced to start peace talks with France.
   French and Spanish diplomatic representatives selected Faisan Island as the place for peace talks. The two sides held 24 talks from August to November 1659, and finally determined the main content of the Pyrenean Treaty.
   The treaty stipulates that in addition to the terms of Spain’s cession of land, Faisan Island, as a special witness of peace between the two countries, has changed from Spanish territory to French-Spanish condominium. From February to July each year, Spain enjoys sovereignty, and from August to the following year. Sovereignty by France in January.    After the end of World War II, with the deepening of European integration, military expeditions have become a story of yesterday, and today’s French-Spanish border is a veritable peaceful border
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At the end of the 20th century, because the Basque independent organization “Eta” in Spain often carried out terrorist attacks and sneaked across the border, France and Spain cancelled the handover ceremony on the island and announced the handover by letter instead.
   On February 1, 2012, France and Spain held the first handover ceremony of sovereignty in the 21st century. Commissioners from France and Spain each led more than a dozen naval soldiers to land on the island, and raised the national flags of the two countries in front of the monument on the island, announcing the completion of the handover of sovereignty.
   However, the island has so far not allowed civilians on the island. Only municipal personnel from Hendaye and Irun, who have a Franco-Spanish military charter, are allowed to regularly visit the island to build lawns and maintain trees. But Faisan Island is 45 meters and 30 meters away from the French and Spanish river banks, respectively, and the public can see it up close. Due to the shallower rivers on the Spanish side, people can even wade to the island on foot during the dry season. So the French and Spanish police need to deport people who are camping on the island from time to time.
   Due to the limited area of ​​the island, there is not much value for development and utilization, so apart from the monument, neither France nor Spain has constructed the island of Faisan. The island is more of a platform for communication between mayors on both sides of the strait to discuss the division of nearby fisheries, water sources and the distribution of responsibilities for environmental governance. The management model of Faisan Island also provides people with valuable ideas: as long as the wisdom of human beings is exerted, perhaps those war fronts facing each other will become a window for peaceful exchanges one day in the future.