New names for new regions: the debate moves forward

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Since the first of January 2016, the former 27 regions of France became 18 in order to make more savings at a region level, by hiring less elected representatives for example. Even if the question of the departments will remain the same as it is not going to change, the debate about the new names of the regions is still ongoing. Some names have already been approved for some regions, but others are still in debate. Discover the map of the new regions.

The newly formed region currently known as Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie may be named Hauts-de-France. What about the others?

On 1st of October, the map of the new regions of France will be officially drawn. What will these new regions be called? In some areas, the choice has already been made, however, in others, it is still unclear.

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Unchanged names

Since their boundaries have not changed, the regions of Brittany, Corsica, Pays de la Loire, Provence-Alpes Cote d’Azur and Ile-de-France will keep their names.

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 Already approved names

Despite the Centre region having remained the same, it will be known as Centre-Val de Loire from now on.

Upper Normandy and Lower Normandy will be fused together as one region: Normandy.

The newly formed region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, the choice was made on Monday 14th March. It will henceforth be known as ‘Hauts-de-France – Nord Pas de Calais-Picardie’. The name was among a shortlist of three propositions with Nord-de-France and Terres-du-Nord. These three options were chosen after consultation of high school students and apprentices.

’Hauts-de-France’, originally suggested by its president Xavier Bertrand (LR), won outright. This choice will be fully validated by the Council of Ministers on the 1st July at the latest.

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Regions yet undecided

AQUITAINE – LIMOUSIN – POITOU-CHARENTES

In the region ALPC, a specific task force has been launched to propose a name that truly represents the newly formed region, ‘a name that sounds perfect to every inhabitant, one that can be a brand name for our products’, as declared by Alain Rousset, president of the region. The new name could be unveiled as early as 20th of June.

According to various forums launched on the Internet by the region and by SudOuest.fr, the result is unanimous for web surfers: the new name should have a strong link to the region of Aquitaine, for them it’s just a question of whether the region is known as ’great’ or ’new’

LANGUEDOC – ROUSSILLON – MIDI-PYRENEES

Even the choice of the regional capital has already provoked some fierce debates (Toulouse is now the preferential choice over Montpellier), and now the debate has moved onto the name of the new region which brings together Midi-Pyrenees and Languedoc-Roussillon. Particularly popular among readers of the daily newspaper La Depeche, the proposition of ‘Occitanie‘ is not winning everyone over.

The new region has launched an official discussion online. First step: every inhabitant has until the 10th of April to share their proposal. At the same time, regional representatives will draw up a list of suggestions before the 15th of April. ‘The second step of the consultation, based on this list, will be open from 18th of April. Each inhabitant will have the possibility to express their preference among the selected names”, indicates the region LRMP. “Depending on the results of this consultation, the new name of the region will be decided by regional representatives on 24th of June‘.

AUVERGNE – RHONE – ALPES

In Auvergne – Rhône–Alpes, after having surveyed 4,500 high school students who put forward suggestions such as ‘La Volc’en Loire‘, ‘R2A‘ or ‘Aurhoal‘, its president Laurent Wauquiez (LR) has also decided to launch an online survey, open until 25th of March.

When the vote is over, a regional executive will choose a name, nothing specifies that he will have to base his choice on the results of the consultations. The new name “will be then submitted to the regional council to have their opinion”, indicates Rue89 (French news website).

ALSACE – CHAMPAGNE-ADRENNE – LORRAINE

On Saturday 12th of March, a group including experts, local representatives and members of the public drawn by lots, drew up a list of three proposals of names for this new region: ’Acalie’, ‘Rhin-Champagne’ and ‘Nouvelle Austrasie’.

But what about the idea of “Grand Est”? This shortlist has caused turmoil in Alsace – Champagne – Ardenne – Loraine. On Monday, the region’s president announced that he will organise a meeting of the executive office to decide the inclusion (or not) of a fourth proposal, the current favourite is ’Grand Est’.

Once the list of propositions is given the go-ahead, locals will have the chance to choose either via the General Council website or via the post. The regional council will later vote and transfer its deliberations to the Conseil d’état.

BOURGOGNE – FRANCHE-COMTE

In this new region, the local consultations ended on 13th of March. Regional consultants debated the different proposals on Friday 18th of March.

But according to the regional daily newspaper Le Bien Public, Bourgogne-Franche-Comte seems to have already crept into everyday usage . ‘BFC appears increasingly in everyday language’. A definitive name must be chosen by 1st July 2016.

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By the end of the first semester 2016, the names of the new regions of France will be determined, and the new regions’ map of France will be drawn.

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