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Comment – The difficult equation of territorial reforms: from big is beautiful to the impossible simplification of the institutional layer-cake

Andre Torre ()

Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, 2017, issue 497-498, 65-71

Abstract: [eng] Do territorial reforms have a meaning, an economic and spatial rationale or are they the result of a legislative whim ? In this comment on the articles by Frère and Védrine, and Antunez et al., we will go back over the slow process of France’s territorial organisation and the attempts at simplification introduced by the recent reforms, as well as the issues they raise, in particular in terms of transfer of powers between local authorities and disparities in the new organisation of the regions in mainland France. We emphasise that the territorial layer-cake was shaped patiently over the centuries, to the point of becoming very heavy indeed, and that the NOTRe and MAPTAM laws, enacted to modify the institutional architecture of the French territories by giving priority to large structures, raise questions regarding the transfer of powers and resources, as well as on spatial inequalities, yet without providing definitive solutions toward the aim of administrative simplification.

Date: 2017
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