French law – The Department

Title 3 – Local and regional authorities

Chapter 2 – The Region

Chapter 3 – The Department

Since the 2015 election, the general council is now called the departmental council, and similarly the general councilor is now called the departmental councilor.

Section 1 – The departmental council

The term of office of a councilor is 6 years.

Each canton is represented by two councilors with parity (one man, one woman) only and regardless of the population of the canton.

The departmental council meets in sessions, the dates of which are fixed by law, and at least once a month. It may be convened at the request of the Bureau or of the members of the General Council if at least 1/3 of them so wish.

The meetings are public, and must gather at least 2/3 of the councilors. The decisions are made by the majority.

The departmental council is responsible for departmental affairs, the management of the departmental budget, and the management of public services. The general council can also give advice to the government.

The departmental council may be dissolved by a decree of the government, justified before the Parliament.

Section 2 – The President of the Departmental Council

The President of the Departmental Council is elected every three years.

The law of 2 March 1982 transferred the executive power of the prefect to the president of the departmental council.

His mission is to prepare and execute the deliberations of the departmental council. He is the head of the departmental services.

Section 3 – The prefect

The prefect of the department is the delegate of the government. In this sense, he is responsible for applying government policy and implementing national and community policies. He receives delegations from the minister.

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