On Wednesday 23rd July 2014, the French government voted in favour of a bill to reduce the number of regions down to 13. The proposal was surprisingly adopted by MPs with a score of 261 votes against 205.
Currently there are 22 regions in France but from January 2015 there will be 13 regions. 7 mergers are expected and 6 regions will remain unchanged.
What are the expected mergers?
– Nord Pas de Calais + Picardie
– Champagne-Ardenne + Lorraine + Alsace
– Basse Normandie + Haute Normandie
– Rhône-Alpes + Auvergne
– Poitou-Charentes + Limousin + Aquitaine
– Midi-Pyrénées + Languedoc-Roussillon
– Franche-Comté + Bourgogne
Which regions will remain unchanged?
Originally, the bill had foreseen a reduction to 14 regions. Eventually, Socialist MPs came to an agreement: a new map with 13 regions.
The aim is to give more power to the regions by increasing the number of inhabitants with the creation of “super” regions.
The departments will be given the option to leave one region for another after 2016, provided it is granted majority approval by the region’s general assembly and the 2 departments concerned.
To decide the new local capitals and future names of the regions, a debate will take place between the Representatives of the regional authorities and the French government. The debate is likely to be quite intense since each regional administrative centre will be eager to become the capital of the future region.
France is dealing with a highly significant territorial reform!
At Sextant we don’t think these changes will happen very quickly; you can continue to search for properties with the current regions displayed on the map located on our homepage. Also property prices will slightly change in the next few years with this reform. For example, if Limousin merges with Aquitaine it is more than likely that prices will rise on the Limousin/Aquitaine border. For more information about investment opportunities in France, do not hesitate to contact our English speaking property consultants on 020 7428 4910.