what are the regions and departments used for?

Employment, social assistance, transport … The action of regional and departmental councils, which the French are called to renew on June 20 and 27, occupies a central role in daily life.

This is the last ballot before the presidential election. After several postponements due to the health crisis, the French are expected to vote on June 20 and 27. In the context of a double ballot, they are called upon to appoint elected officials from their region, but also from their department. Le Figaro takes stock of the role of these two communities, which play a central role in daily life.

Colleges, high schools, transport, social assistance or even economic development … The departments and regions each have a well-defined field of action. The 2015 law on the new territorial organization of the Republic (NOTRe law) has indeed strengthened decentralization, thus modifying the distribution of powers between these two communities.

● Regions: employment first

Behind the regional express trains (TER) and the management of high schools are the regions. With their 1758 regional advisers in total, they also stand out for their skills in economic development – innovation, research and establishment of new businesses, training. “A company that wants to set up and set up an innovative program will look to the region, just like an unemployed person looking for retraining will participate in an internship offered by the region.», Thus illustrates Jules Nyssen, general delegate of the Association of the Regions of France (ARF).

More and more present in the debates, ecology is also the responsibility of the regions, in particular through the management of regional natural parks. Although health and safety are not among the specific competences of these territories, the themes seem to be invited into the electoral campaign. “The regions aspire to be politically present in more fields, beyond the simple reality of the texts. Safety and health emerge through the management of transport and high schools. We also ask to have more responsibilities at the level of Regional health agencies “ , develops Jules Nyssen.

The current health context has also highlighted this level, whose role is announced as major within the framework of the recovery plan, supposed to allow the country to restart economically after three periods of confinement. “This will be one of the first issues once the new region presidents are elected. How is a real management of the recovery plan reorganized in each region? It is a question of implementing it with the reality and the complexity of the field», Observes the delegate general of the ARF.

● Departments: social priority

Made up of 95 departmental councils, the departments are mobilized for the “social solidarity“And the”territorial solidarity», As summarized by Pierre Monzani, General Delegate of the Assembly of French Departments (ADF). Colleges, canteens, roads, accommodation establishments for dependent elderly people (Ehpad), active solidarity income (RSA) or even disability-related issues fall within the remit of this level. “Without us always knowing it, the department acts on a daily basis“, Notes Pierre Monzani, regretting that the departments are sometimes”in the dark regional policy».

However, the various players welcome “a spirit of cooperation” as well as a “complementarityBetween these two communities. For example, from the payment of the RSA – departmental prerogative – to the return to employment of benefit recipients – regional competence – both levels are concerned.

Especially since they share certain skills, like sport, culture and tourism. “Dialogue between the region and the departments will be strengthened“, Wants to believe Jules Nyssen. And to add: “There is evidence that we have to work together. The department remains a local level well identified by our fellow citizens. One can imagine that, tomorrow, there will be delegation relations between regions and departments.»


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