France approves a territorial reform

The French Parliament has approved the draft law on the New Territorial Organisation of the Republic (NOTRe), which redefines the powers of the local and regional governments regarding the country’s administrative and economic policies. The most outstanding measure is the changes to the French internal regional borders, which will reduce the number of regions.

Today France has 22 regions, but from next January, it will only have 13.  The new delimitations have been adopted by joining the old regions in new territorial groups, which makes them larger.  This measure is expected to reinforce the country’s regional governments, as well as their economic competences and the decision-making capacities that do not correspond to the State. This way, the thirteen new regions will have powers on economic development and aid to businesses, territorial planning, transport management, professional training, public employment service, and job management. Besides, they will share powers with the departments on matters related to culture, sports and tourism. 

After several amendments, on 16 July the National Assembly and the Senate approved the final text of the NOTRe draft law that was first submitted by the Council of Ministers on 18 June 2014. It will finally come into force in January 2016, although the transfer of new powers to the regions will go on until 2017.

 

 Image: © Gouvernement Français

 

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