French law – The Region

Title 3 – Local and Regional Authorities

Chapter 1 – Relations between the State and local authorities

Chapter 2 – The Region

Section 1 – The administrative organization of the region

In 1982, the region became a territorial collectivity under the law.

The prefect, commissioner of the Republic of the region, is the sole representative of the State in a region.

The regional councilors are elected for 6 years (law of 10 July 1985)

The law of April 11, 2003, modifies the modalities of the election of the prefects: to reach the second round, a candidate must collect at least 10% of the votes cast. It is possible to merge from 5% of the votes cast to reach the second round. The distribution of seats concerns those who have obtained 5% of the votes. The list that comes first has a majority bonus of a quarter of the available seats.

Gender parity has been the rule in executive bodies since the law of 31 January 2007.

The regional council has two types of competence:

  1. executory: for what concerns the region and the local community
  2. consultative: for what concerns the action of the State in the region

The president of the regional council has executive power since the law of March 2, 1982. He manages the budget.

The law of 6 February 1992 created an economic, social and environmental council, which only gives advice. Its opinion is obligatory for national and regional outlines as well as for deciding on the main lines of the region’s budget.

The regional prefect is the government’s delegate, and it is he who ensures the role of the state in the region. He has a hierarchical superiority over the departmental prefects. He is surrounded by a secretary general, mission managers and department heads.

Section 2 – The status of the region

The region’s competence is limited to what is set out in the texts, it has no general competence.

The law of 1972 defines the main powers of the region.

The law of 1982 extended the regions’ modes of action. The regional council has“competence to promote the economic, social, health, cultural and scientific development of the region and the planning of its territory, and to ensure the preservation of its identity. The regions can give aid to companies, and participate in the capital of companies that promote the development of the region. The regional council is now the body that implements the regional plan.

The region gets its resources from the State, but can also get them from taxes decided by the regional council. The law of February 6, 1992, established a pre-equalization system between the regions, i.e. a redistribution mechanism to reduce the differences in wealth.

Economic, social and regional planning matters are implemented by the prefect on behalf of the State. The latter may also make proposals within the framework of the national plan.

Section 3 – The new map of France

The territorial reform of France is the question of a recent law.

After the solemn vote on territorial reform on November 25, 2014, in the National Assembly and the adoption by the deputies of the map to 13 regions, compared to the current 22, the Senate begins, on December 16, 2014, the examination of the bill on the new territorial organization of the Republic (NOTRe).

→ Chapter 3 – The department

→ Lesson Sheets – Administrative Organization

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