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An assessment of the effects of the territorial reform

An assessment of the effects of the territorial reform

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Remapping and merging the Regions with one another, redefining the role of the departments, promoting the grouping of municipalities, creating metropolitan areas, reducing the local authorities' expenditure, improving citizen proximity and involving them in the decision-making process in a more effective way: these were the expectations of the NOTR...

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... this question of citizenship, which is therefore central, been forgotten during the 2014-2017 territorial laws in favour of a search for the "big is beautiful" concept and an ever-increasing distance from the decision-making and power centres? We try to assess these various dimensions in Table 3. www.sebastienbourdin.com ...

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... However, it is also fair to say that spatial development within rural France is, as elsewhere, highly localised, and the above generalisation could be judged to be simplistic. Aspects of the current discussion on the role of different administrative levels in a context of ongoing discourse on regionalisation (and localisation) are therefore crucial [91]. It is too early to assess whether the ambitions expressed in the mission document and the Rural Agenda will have an impact on local people's perspectives, raising their level of ambition, or triggering a process of activation. ...
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The European Commission’s Long-term Vision for Rural Areas, published in June 2021 and building on a previous report on the Impact of Demographic Change and a Green Paper on Ageing, underlines the importance of population trends as a key issue for EU rural policy. The increasing concern about demographic issues, especially in rural Europe, has been accompanied, and in some cases preceded, by the publication of national population strategies. This renewed interest within the European policy community probably has roots in politics rather than new research or fresh evidence. Rural depopulation is not a new phenomenon, nor is it a new research topic. Nevertheless, to better understand this renewed interest, it is instructive to review recent scholarship and consider whether there is any evidence that the processes and systems of rural and regional (demographic) development are delivering new kinds of challenges, requiring refreshed policy approaches. Having established this context, we present a comparative review of a selection of national strategies, identifying shifting perspectives on goals, the instruments proposed, and implied intervention logics. Arguably, cumulative evidence points to an incremental shift of the policy discourse away from neoliberal, Lisbon-inspired visions of rural competitiveness and cost-effectiveness and towards a quest for rural well-being, rights to basic services, and more (spatially) inclusive rural development. This increasing emphasis on qualitative change may be symptomatic of a wider shift in the zeitgeist of rural policy, reflecting a number of globalised trends, including an awareness of the potentials and limitations associated with changing patterns of inter and intra-regional mobility.
... The case of France is particularly interesting from this point of view (Torre, Bourdin 2021). In 2018, the country was shaken by a large-scale protest movement well known as the 'yellow vests' movement (related to the name of the garment the protestors were wearing). ...
... Step by step, fundamental questions were raised about public policies related to peripheral areas in a context of falling public spending and growing inequality, with signi cant territorial repercussions (Bourdin, Torre 2020;Torre, Bourdin 2021). This movement can be seen as the behavior of disenchantment; the participants had no con dence in politics or were no longer part of the 'political o er' (Kostelka 2017). ...
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Many European countries have implemented development policies for regions and territories in order to contribute to their growth and reduce inequalities. The EU has developed policies for cohesion and smart development which aim to promote the growth of all territories and reduce the gaps between them. The implementation of those policies raises questions about the place of and role of peripheral areas in terms of development. Will they remain under-developed regions, lagging behind? Or are they able to participate in overall development processes? The topic of our paper is an exploration of smart development for peripheral areas, and more especially, rural areas, in Europe. The question arises as to whether these areas are, despite their handicaps, capable of meeting the challenges of development, and most of all of satisfying the conditions for a smart development process. In order to address the question of the development potential of peripheral areas, we start by presenting the European policies of cohesion and smart development, before highlighting the limits of their acceptance by local people. We then show that there are other types of territorial innovations than those identified in the most well-known policies, and finally we propose development strategies for a particular type of peripheral area: rural territories. We found that even while the development policies devoted to these territories have multiplied over the last thirty years, the inhabitants of peripheral areas very often feel dissatisfied with their situation and express their opposition through extreme votes or public demonstration. One of the major reasons for this growing gap between the proliferation of EU policies and the dissatisfaction of the population is that innovations and novelties coming from these areas are rarely considered and encouraged by the current policies. The latter attach too great an importance to technological dimensions and are mainly directed towards industrialized and densely populated areas, whereas innovations stemming from peripheral territories, which are very real, are concentrated primarily in the social, institutional, and organizational fields. In the end, many policies are disconnected from the needs, the will, and the skills of local populations in peripheral areas. In order to avoid these problems and to reduce the obstacles on the development paths of peripheral areas we advocate policies that are better adapted to these territories and which seriously consider their innovative character. The case of rural areas in Europe provides interesting insights because it shows that a mix of ‘traditional’ and more social and institutional policies is possible, and that various mixes can be adapted to the peculiarities of these regions; from peri-urban areas to remote agricultural or forested lands. In any case, it is important to stress that the measures that are applied must be adapted to the respective characteristics of the different categories of territory and not be based on a catalogue adaptable to any type of peripheral areas. It is at this price that we may avoid the disjunction between the different territories of the EU and the appearance of zones of separatism, or even the dislocation of the European community.
Article
The analysis of French municipalities’ public personnel expenditures allows us to study the issue of the size of the local public sector. We concentrate on two paths that French authorities have followed to limit it, i.e., the promotion of inter-municipal cooperation (IMC) and the cut in grants received by municipalities. Our objective is to evaluate their respective role in the evolution of public personnel expenditures at the municipal level, in a context where local politics comes into play. We consider a large panel dataset of municipalities embedded in IMC structures between 2011 and 2018. Our main results, obtained using an original identification strategy, are threefold. We first find evidence that a substitution effect between municipal and IMC personnel expenditures is at work. Second, we find a partisan distorsion through the grant allocation: despite its formula-based definition, aligned and unaligned municipalities are treated differently by the central government. Third, we show that cuts in grants lead to cuts in municipalities’ public wage bills, while partisanship hinders such cuts.
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Le modèle d'économie circulaire, envisagé comme une solution adaptée aux défis globaux des changements climatiques, est aujourd'hui souvent proposé pour la conception et la fabrication de produits à forte valeur ajoutée, générateurs de nouvelles activités économiques pourvoyeuses d'emplois et de valeur dans les territoires. Cet article contribue à analyser l'évolution et le degré de concentration spatiale des activités d'économie circulaire à l'échelle des zones d'emploi de la France métropolitaine sur la période 2008-2015. Nos résultats mettent en évidence une croissance de l'emploi circulaire supérieure à celle de l'emploi total. Par ailleurs, nous montrons à la fois que les activités circulaires sont davantage métropolitaines et qu'il existe, en France, une diagonale du vide de la localisation des activités d'économie circulaire. On observe également un effet régional marqué de la répartition spatiale des activités circulaires, suggérant une territorialisation des politiques publiques d'économie circulaire. Mots-clés : Économie circulaire, zones d'emploi, établissement, croissance de l'emploi, concentration spatiale.