Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Région in France
France is divided into 26 régions: 21 of these are in the continental part of metropolitan France, one is Corse on the island of Corsica (although strictly speaking Corse is in fact a "territorial collectivity", not a région, but is referred to as a région in common speech), 4 are overseas. Régions are further subdivided into départements.
Régions do not have legislative autonomy, nor can they issue regulations. They do levy taxes (or, rather, the national government gives them a portion of the taxes it levies) and have sizeable, though not considerable budgets.
Their main legal attribution is to build and pay equipment costs for high schools; in March 2004, the French national government announced a controversial plan to transfer to the régions some categories of non-teaching school personnel. Critics of this plan contend that it is doubtful than sufficient fiscal resources for these additional charges will be transferred, and that such measures will increase inequalities between régions.
Apart from these legal attributions, régions have considerable discretionary spending for infrastructure (education, public transportation systems, aid to universities and research, support for entrepreneurs). Because of this, being president of a wealthy région such as Île-de-France or Rhône-Alpes may be quite a high profile position.
There are, from time to time, discussions about giving limited legislative autonomy to the régions, but such proposals are controversial. There are also proposals to suppress the local governments of the départements and to folding them into the régions, keeping the départements only as administrative subdivisions.
- Régions which are also départements d'outre-mer (DOM)
(Overseas departments), each of them consisting of a single département coterminous with a région:
- Administrative divisions of France
- Ranked list of French régions
- List of capitals of subnational entities
- French regional elections, 2004
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