Hollande plans only 14 regions

How the new France map would look – Graphic Elysee Palace

Map of France will be redrawn to create larger regions with the resources to match their needs

PLANS to modernise French local government could see the number of regions cut from the present 22 to 14, with President Hollande saying that this would allow more efficient regions of 4.5million residents from the present 2.9m.

His plans to redraw the map of France have still to go to parliament and Prime Minister Manuel Valls told journalists “changes could still be made”. Mr Valls had earlier said the moves could save the country €25billion in administration costs and efficiency savings.

The regions of Aquitaine, Brittany, Corsica, Ile-de-France, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Pays de la Loire and Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur will not be changed while other regions will be merged – but none would be split up.

Mr Hollande said the regions to merge would be Basse and Haute Normandie; Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes; Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon; Poitou-Charentes, Centre and Limousin; Picardie and Champagne-Ardennes; Bourgogne and Franche-Comté, plus Alsace and Lorraine.

He said the proposals would be put to parliament but he called on politicians not to “prevaricate” although the proposals have already sparked widespread reaction.

The present-day regions, he said, were “cramped spaces inherited from administrative divisions dating back in the mid-1960s" and he said that they did not have resources to match their needs.

Reducing the number of regions to 14 would create regions of “European scale” with an ability to “fund and build territorial strategies”.

Elections planned for next March for the new regions and for departments have been pushed back to autumn 2015.
Graphic: Elysee Palace

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