Urban landscape
21 November 2014

Territorial reform

Within the framework of the territorial reform, on the night of 19 to 20 November 2014 the National Assembly adopted at second reading the map of 13 regions, compared with the current 22, as during the first reading in July. In the meantime, the Senate had approved a map of 15 regions. The MPs are yet to rule on the electoral timetable, the second part of the bill which will be put to formal vote on 25 November.
Content published under the Government Valls II from 2014 26th August to 2016 11th February
This major territorial reform led by the Head of State is intended to transform the territorial architecture of the Republic for decades to come. The issues at stake are cutting public expenditure and a better consideration of citizens' needs.
A first phase was launched in January 2014 with the law on the modernisation of territorial public action and on the strengthening of metropolitan cities. The creation of a new status for the latter will initiate a clarification of responsibilities at local level. A new map of France will take shape with the metropolitan areas of Lyon (1 January 2015), Aix-Marseille-Provence (1 January 2016) and a dozen others. That of the Greater Paris area will come into existence on 1 January 2016. These new entities will be granted more power and will take action regarding the departmental road network, school transport and the promotion of the territory at international level.
The second phase of the territorial reform is intended to reduce the number of regions in mainland France from 22 to 13.

The National Assembly adopts the new map of 13 regions

Article 1 on the map reduces the number of regions in mainland France from 22 to 13 (including Corsica), and not 14 as the initial Government project envisaged.
This new map ratifies:
The merging of the following regions
  • Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne,
  • Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy,
  • Burgundy and Franche-Comté,
  • Upper Normandy and Lower Normandy,
  • Rhône-Alpes and Auvergne,
  • Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon,
  • Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes.
6 unchanged regions
  • Brittany,
  • Corsica,
  • Ile-de-France,
  • Centre,
  • Pays de la Loire,
  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.

More tightly-knit and efficient inter-communal bodies

The reform also develops the integration process within communes in order to scale-up inter-communal bodies. "Each of them should comprise at least 20,000 inhabitants as of 1 January 2017, compared to the 5,000 today. Adjustments will be scheduled for the mountain areas and the sparsely populated areas", said the Head of State.

As for the future of departmental councils, there are three possible solutions to accommodate the existing situations:
  • In departments with a metropolitan city - such as Lyon, for example -, it may be decided to merge these two structures.
  • For departments with strong inter-communal bodies, departmental responsibilities may be absorbed by a federation of inter-communal bodies.
  • Finally, in departments - particularly rural departments - where communities of communes fall short of the critical mass, the departmental council shall remain in place, with clarification of its responsibilities.
The departmental elections will be held on 22 and 29 March 2015, in accordance with the law adopted in 2013. The regional elections, with the new map of France, will take place before the end of 2015.

Territorial reform adopted by the National Assembly

On 18 July, after an evening of debate, the National Assembly adopted the new map of 13 regions, which notably includes the mergin... [Read more]
23 July 2014