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Two Become One, France Set to Rejig its Regions


The map of France is set to change after a vote in the Assemblée Nationale, the French Parliament, in November 2014 resulted in a YES to reducing the number of regions from 22 to 13.

After many months of debate and disagreement by politicians and councillors across France, leaders voted formally on 25 November 2015 on a proposal to reduce the 22 regions of France and create mergers which will result in the creation of 13 regions. The new plan is set to take effect from 2016 and the regions are to be mapped as follows:

France Regions Change

Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine
Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes
Auvergne Rhône-Alpes
Burgundy and Franche Comté
Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrenees
Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy
Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy

6 regions remain unchanged:

Pays de la Loire
Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

The French Government says that the move is aimed at simplifying bureaucracy and saving costs.

Though the French state is decentralised by territory, the regions do not have legislative authority, their role is to co-ordinate and deliver state functions. Regional councils do have significant discretionary power concerning infrastructure and operational spending in education, tourism, public transport, universities and research, unemployment and assistance to businesses.

It is not a universally popular amendment to the regional map of France and little detail is yet available about what it will actually mean. Regions that are merging will need to agree the new regional capital, power structure, budgets, plans etc.

The new regional map of France will come into force on January 1, 2016

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