We will have to wait a little longer before our thirteen French regions are comparable to the sixteen German Länder.
It was however the reference which had pushed François Hollande to record the passage from twenty-two to thirteen mega-regions.
But this structuring reform was decided too quickly, with sometimes arbitrary regrouping criteria.
What logic is there in merging Burgundy and Franche-Comté or joining Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées to create Occitanie?
By enlarging them, they have also become less close… Not enough to create a strong sense of belonging.
The powers of these new regions also remain limited. A major decentralization reform remains to be done, for example by strengthening their area of intervention in education, as in Germany, in economic development, employment, social affairs or health. On condition that this reinforcement is accompanied by a simplification of the administrative millefeuille. It would have been necessary to have the courage to remove one or two levels (department? Community of communes?) Or to merge them to gain in agility and to save money.
Nevertheless, these regions and these departments, as imperfect as they are, have the merit of representing “the France of the territories”, the countryside, small towns and medium-sized towns. During the yellow vests crisis, what did we say about national political leaders disconnected from this “peripheral France”, who only had eyes for “world cities” of international size? Today, the French are called upon to choose their representatives who will take over all these skills of daily life: the RSA, solidarity and roads for the departments, urban transport (TER) and high schools for the regions. It would be an inconsistency to stay away from this election now and to redouble criticism tomorrow on the abandonment of our dear territories.