Regions of France

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This article is part of the series on
Administrative divisions of France

Regions

(incl. overseas regions)

(incl. overseas departments)

Urban communities
Agglomeration communities
Commune communities
Syndicates of New Agglomeration

Associated communes
Municipal arrondissements

Others in Overseas France

Overseas collectivities
Sui generis collectivity
Overseas country
Overseas territory
Clipperton Island

 
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Nord-Pas
de Calais
Picardy
Upper
Normandy
Ile-de-
France
Champagne-
Ardenne
Lorraine
Alsace
Franche-
Comté
Burgundy
Centre
Pays-de-la-
Loire
Brittany
Lower
Normandy
Poitou-
Charentes
Limousin
Auvergne
Rhône-
Alpes
Aquitaine
Midi-Pyrénées
Languedoc-
Roussillon
PACA
Corsica
French Guiana
Guadeloupe
Martinique
Mayotte
Réunion
Belgium
Luxembourg
Germany
Switzerland
Italy
United Kingdom
Andorra
Brazil
Suriname
Spain
Monaco
Channel
Bay of
Biscay
Ligurian
Sea
Mediterranean
Sea

This article is part of the series on
Administrative divisions of France

Regions

(incl. overseas regions)

(incl. overseas departments)

Urban communities
Agglomeration communities
Commune communities
Syndicates of New Agglomeration

Associated communes
Municipal arrondissements

Others in Overseas France

Overseas collectivities
Sui generis collectivity
Overseas country
Overseas territory
Clipperton Island

France is divided into 27 administrative regions (French: région, pronounced: [ʁe.ʒjɔ̃]), 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity (French collectivité territoriale), but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website.[1] The mainland regions and Corsica are each further subdivided into departments, ranging in number from 2 to 8 per region for the metropolitan regions; the overseas regions technically consist of only one department each. The term region was officially created by the Law of Decentralisation (2 March 1982), which also gave regions their legal status. The first direct elections for regional representatives took place on 16 March 1986.[2]

General characteristics[edit]

In mainland France (excluding Corsica), the median land area of a region is 25,809 km² (9,965 sq mi), which is slightly larger than the U.S. state of Vermont, 4% of the median land area of a Canadian province, or 15% larger than the median land area of a German Regierungsbezirk.

In 2004, the median population of a region in continental France was 2,329,000 inhabitants, three quarters of the median population of a German Land (state), but more than twice the median population of a Canadian province.

Role[edit]

Regions lack separate legislative authority and therefore cannot write their own statutory law. They levy their own taxes and, in return, receive a decreasing part of their budget from the central government, which gives them a portion of the taxes it levies. They also have considerable budgets managed by a regional council (conseil régional) made up of representatives voted into office in regional elections.

A region's primary responsibility is to build and furnish high schools. In March 2004, the French central government unveiled a controversial plan to transfer regulation of certain categories of non-teaching school staff to the regional authorities. Critics of this plan contended that tax revenue was insufficient to pay for the resulting costs, and that such measures would increase regional inequalities.

In addition, regions have considerable discretionary power over infrastructural spending, e.g., education, public transit, universities and research, and assistance to business owners. This has meant that the heads of wealthy regions such as Île-de-France or Rhône-Alpes can be high-profile positions.

Proposals to give regions limited legislative autonomy have met with considerable resistance; others propose transferring certain powers from the departments to their respective regions, leaving the former with limited authority.

Regional control[edit]

Number of regions controlled by each coalition since 1986.

  Left
  Right

Regions and their capitals[edit]

Metropolitan regions
Flag[3]RegionFrench nameOther local name(s)CapitalINSEE No.[1]Derivation or etymologyPresident
Flag of AlsaceAlsaceAlsaceAlsatian: Elsàss
German: Elsass
Strasbourg42Formerly a coalition of free cities in Holy Roman Empire, attached to Kingdom of France in 1648.

Annexed by Germany from Franco-Prussian war to the end of World War I and briefly during World War II

Philippe Richert (UMP)
Flag of AquitaineAquitaineAquitaineOccitan: Aquitània
Basque: Akitania
Saintongeais : Aguiéne
Bordeaux72Guyenne and GasconyAlain Rousset (PS)
Flag of AuvergneAuvergneAuvergneOccitan: Auvèrnhe / AuvèrnhaClermont-Ferrand83Former province of AuvergneRené Souchon (PS)
Flag of BrittanyBrittanyBretagneBreton: Breizh
Gallo: Bertaèyn
Rennes53Duchy of BrittanyJean-Yves Le Drian (PS)
Flag of BurgundyBurgundyBourgogneBurgundian: Bregogne / Borgoégne
Franco-Provençal: Borgogne
Dijon26Duchy of BurgundyFrançois Patriat (PS)
Flag of CentreCentreCentreOrléans24Located in north-central France (central part of the original French language area)François Bonneau (PS)
Flag of Champagne-ArdenneChampagne-ArdenneChampagne-ArdenneChâlons-en-
Champagne
21Former province of ChampagneJean-Paul Bachy (PS)
Flag of Franche-ComtéFranche-ComtéFranche-ComtéFranc-Comtois: Fràntche-Comté
Franco-Provençal: Franche-Comtât
Besançon43Free County of Burgundy
(Franche-Comté)
Marie-Marguerite Dufay (PS)
Flag of Île-de-FranceÎle-de-FranceÎle-de-FranceParis11Province of Ile-de-France and parts
of the former province of Champagne
Jean-Paul Huchon (PS)
Flag of Languedoc-RoussillonLanguedoc-RoussillonLanguedoc-RoussillonOccitan: Lengadòc-Rosselhon
Catalan: Llenguadoc-Rosselló
Montpellier91Former provinces of Languedoc
and Roussillon
Christian Bourquin (DVG)
Flag of LimousinLimousinLimousinOccitan: LemosinLimoges74Former province of Limousin and parts
of Marche, Berry, Auvergne, Poitou
and Angoumois
Jean-Paul Denanot (PS)
Flag of LorraineLorraineLorraineGerman: Lothringen
Lorraine Franconian: Lottringe
Metz41Named for Charlemagne's son Lothair I, the kingdom of Lotharingia is etymologically
the source for the name Lorraine (duchy), Lothringen (German), Lottringe (Lorraine Franconian)
Jean-Pierre Masseret (PS)
Flag of Lower NormandyLower NormandyBasse-NormandieNorman: Basse-NormaundieCaen25Western half of former province of NormandyLaurent Beauvais (PS)
Flag of Midi-PyrénéesMidi-PyrénéesMidi-PyrénéesOccitan: Miègjorn-Pirenèus
Occitan: Mieidia-Pirenèus
Toulouse73None; created for ToulouseMartin Malvy (PS)
Flag of Nord-Pas-de-CalaisNord-Pas-de-CalaisNord-Pas-de-CalaisDutch: Noord-Nauw van KalesLille31Nord and Pas-de-Calais departmentsDaniel Percheron (PS)
Flag of Pays-de-la-LoirePays de la LoirePays de la LoireBreton: Broioù al LigerNantes52None; created for NantesJacques Auxiette (PS)
Flag of Picardie (Picardy)PicardyPicardieAmiens22Former province of PicardyClaude Gewerc (PS)
Flag of Poitou-CharentesPoitou-CharentesPoitou-CharentesOccitan: Peitau-Charantas
Poitevin and Saintongeais : Poetou-Chérentes
Poitiers54Former provinces of Angoumois, Aunis, Poitou and SaintongeSégolène Royal (PS)
Flag of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'AzurProvence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA)Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA)Occitan:
   Provença-Aups-Còsta d'Azur
   Prouvènço-Aup-Costo d'Azur
Italian:
   Provenza-Alpi-Costa Azzurra
Marseille93Provence plus the former county of
Nice
, principality of Orange and Comtat Venaissin
Michel Vauzelle (PS)
Flag of Rhône-AlpesRhône-AlpesRhône-AlpesFranco-Provençal: Rôno-Arpes
Occitan: Ròse Aups
Lyon82Created for Lyon from Dauphiné and
Lyonnais provinces
and Savoy
Jean-Jack Queyranne
Flag of Haute-NormandieUpper NormandyHaute-NormandieNorman: Ĥâote-NormaundieRouen23Eastern half of former province of NormandyAlain Le Vern (PS)
The following region has the special status of territorial collectivity.
Flag of CorsicaCorsicaCorseCorsican: Corsica
Italian: Corsica
Ajaccio94Territorial collectivityPaul Giacobbi (PRG)
The following five regions have the special status of overseas region.
Flag of French GuianaFrench GuianaGuyaneCayenne03Overseas regionRodolphe Alexandre (PSG)
Flag of GuadeloupeGuadeloupeGuadeloupeAntillean Creole: GwadloupBasse-Terre01Overseas regionVictorin Lurel (PS)
Flag of MartiniqueMartiniqueMartiniqueAntillean Creole: MatinikFort-de-France02Overseas regionSerge Letchimy (PPM)
unofficial flag of MayotteMayotteMayotteShimaore: Maore
Malagasy: Mahori
Mamoudzou05Overseas regionDaniel Zaïdani (DVG)
ReunionLa RéunionReunion Creole: La RényonSaint-Denis04Overseas regionDidier Robert (UMP)

Arms of the regions of France[4][edit]

France-Regions et blasons.svg

Reform and mergers of regions[edit]

Hollande's proposal[edit]

Regions proposed by President François Hollande in 2014.

On 2 June 2014, President François Hollande announced the transition from 22 to 14 Regions.

Regions to merge:

Regions remain unchanged:

Previous proposals[edit]

2016 Reform[edit]

The reformed regions from 2016 onwards.

See also[edit]

General:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Carte des Régions" (in French). INSEE. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  2. ^ Jean-Marie Miossec (2009), Géohistoire de la régionalisation en France, Paris: Presses universitaires de France ISBN 978-2-13-056665-6.
  3. ^ These flags are not official.
  4. ^ For most of the regions, these arms are not official.

External links[edit]