Décentralisation

Revue

Institutions - Territoires, réseaux

Decentralization and Regional Development

Quite apart from its economic and commercial consequences, the 2016 decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (EU) has also shown up the role the EU has played in keeping a lid on certain territorial disputes and demands for independence. Without second-guessing the details of Brexit implementation that will emerge from the current negotiations between the two parties, Futuribles has decided to examine these questions of territorial organization by way of a dossier covering not only the United Kingdom (where Brexit could change the rules of the game), but also two largely decentralized states, Spain and Germany.

In this dossier, Jean-François Drevet examines the specific situation of the UK. After recalling how the country has recently decentralized power (devolution) to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, he highlights the particular case of England, which is struggling to find its place in this decentralized arrangement, and the dilemmas this produces where some decision-making is concerned. Most importantly, he recalls why this regional organization was adopted — mainly to respond to the economic crisis that was hitting some regions more severely than others — and the limits (particularly budgetary) it is running up against. Regional development remains very unequal in the country and socio-economic disparities between the London region and areas of high unemployment persist. These regional disparities also had a hand in the Brexit vote (with the EU playing its now classic role as scapegoat). Unfortunately, the implementation of Brexit will probably not have the positive consequences the citizens are hoping for, because of the loss of some European funding and a possible strengthening of dependence on the Treasury, if not indeed a potential revival of aspirations to independence in Northern Ireland or Scotland.

Revue

Institutions - Territoires, réseaux

Germany: The Future of Federalism

The way the member states of the European Union choose to structure their territories, both politically and administratively, represents an often overlooked but very real difficulty for European integration, complicating the Union’s actions politically, institutionally, etc. To cast light on this, Futuribles has decided to examine the question of territorial organization in Europe by publishing a dossier covering three countries: Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Éric Dufeil sets out the particular case of Germany, where the federal structure laid down in the aftermath of the Second World War has become a central pillar of political organization, further consolidated by reunification. After reminding the readers how this federalism operates, he highlights the generally balanced character of the country, while stressing the developmental inequalities that persist, particularly between East and West. Dufeil also writes of the recent reforms which, among other things, recentralize the management of economic equalization between territories and could lead in the medium term to a revision of the number and geography of the Länder. Lastly, he stresses, on the one hand, the demographic challenges the country faces, which might also lead to some territorial reforms and, on the other, the interesting status of the “metropolitan regions” within the country. However, given how rooted Germany is in it federal structure and the population’s attachment to that structure, adjustments, if they are made, will be carried out within the framework of the Federation.

Revue

Institutions - Territoires, réseaux

The Territorial Question: Spain at the Crossroads

The way the member states of the European Union choose to structure their territories, both politically and administratively, represents an often overlooked but very real difficulty for European integration, complicating the Union’s actions politically, institutionally, etc. To cast light on this, Futuribles has opened a dossier on territorial organization in Europe. After Germany and the UK, it is the turn here of Spain.

Éric Dufeil outlines the territorial issues facing this highly decentralized country, structured — with its “autonomous communities” — almost on federalist lines. He sets out the organization established after the disappearance of the Franco regime which, despite broad decision-making autonomy granted to communities, has not been able totally and effectively to curb Basque and Catalan nationalist demands. After reviewing the independence issue, Dufeil shows how it gained renewed vigour in the context of the 2008 economic crisis, which hit the Spanish economy hard and fed into a significant political crisis at the national level. He also explains the current reform of the financing of the autonomous regions and various scenarios for how Spanish territorial organization may develop (retention of the status quo, a unilateral break with the present order, an unlikely third way or — and why not? — federalism). Beyond the serious tensions that persist in Spain, particularly in Catalonia in recent times, the revitalization of Spanish civic life and democracy gives hope that a consensual solution will emerge from the dialogue between state and communities.

Revue

Institutions - Territoires, réseaux

Towards a Metropolitan World?

Given the difficulties states are having coping with the various current (financial, economic, environmental…) crises at both the national and international levels, attention is increasingly being drawn to the growing scope at the local level for initiatives to attempt to meet the foremost present and future challenges. This is well illustrated by Jean Haëntjens in this issue, when he calls for the implementation of strategic visions in cities to cope with climate problems. Julien Damon reinforces the point in this article, stressing how important the metropolitan level is tending to become globally in the response to both the major and minor problems of individuals. Drawing on various recent publications in the English-speaking world, he shows what underlies this potential “metropolitan revolution” and assesses how prevalent it might also become in France as a result of ongoing local government reorganization. Taking these thoughts further, Julien Damon speculates on the possible emergence in France of “welfare-metropolises” coming gradually to supplant a flagging welfare state.

Note de veille

Territoires, réseaux

Décentralisation : comparaison européenne

À l’heure des débats sur la réforme territoriale, qui peut se présenter comme un troisième acte de décentralisation, un premier acte d’affirmation des métropoles ou bien comme une geste de recentralisation, il est bon de se comparer. Les données Eurostat permettent de situer la France, en Europe, en termes de niveaux d’autonomie financière et d’autonomie fiscale des collectivités territoriales. L’analyse comparée de la décentralisation n’est pas chose aidée. Les traditions et dénominations administratives sont ...

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Chapitre de rapport annuel vigie

Institutions

Chapitre 10 du rapport Vigie 2010 : Institutions et politiques publiques

PARTIE 1 : INSTITUTIONS INTERNATIONALES Tendance 1 : Des institutions internationales moins représentatives Tendance 2 : Montée en puissance des organisations ad hoc Tendance 3 : Influence croissante des acteurs privés Tendance 4 : Régionalisation du monde Incertitude 1 : Fin du système de sécurité collective ? Incertitude 2 : Renforcement des institutions financières multilatérales ? Incertitude 3 : Faiblesse de l’aide publique au développement ? PARTIE 2 : L’UNION EUROPÉENNE ET SES MARGES Tendance 1 : L’élargissement contrarié Tendance 2 : La politique européenne de voisinage limitée Tendance 3 : Faiblesse ...

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Bibliography

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement - Territoires, réseaux

Pouvoirs et démocratie en Bretagne à l’épreuve du changement climatique, à l’horizon 2030

Il est souvent difficile, pour une région, d?anticiper les impacts que pourrait avoir le réchauffement climatique sur son territoire, alors même qu?il est très probable que ces impacts varient plus ou moins fortement selon les zones considérées, même à l?intérieur de la France. C?est pourquoi le CESR Bretagne s?est engagé dans un exercice de prospective sur ce sujet, afin de comprendre quels pourraient être les impacts du réchauffement climatique sur la région et, partant, sur ...

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Chapitre de rapport annuel vigie

Institutions

Chapitre 12 du rapport Vigie 2004 : Quelles institutions et quelles politiques publiques ?

Nul ne contestera le fait que l'État occupe en France une place à la fois spécifique et majeure depuis fort longtemps. Il joue un rôle particulièrement important, y compris en raison de son poids, de ses rigidités, de ses privilèges, mais ce rôle est souvent aujourd'hui perçu comme un frein plus que comme un moteur.

Revue

Éducation - Institutions

Éducation et décentralisation en France

The debate about the future of education in France has been reignited this autumn with the nomination of a committee, chaired by Claude Thélot, charged with producing a "shared diagnosis" as to the state of the schools; this will then serve as the basis for a parliamentary bill to be put to the vote in early 2004. One of the major issues at the heart of the discussions with all those involved in the French education system is likely to be the question of how far the system should be decentralized.
Vincent Tournier makes a contribution here to this important debate, stressing the deficiencies of the French system and showing how far these could be remedied by decentralization.
Tournier sets out first to demonstrate how far the French education system has departed from its fundamental principles: that education should be free, open to all and effective. He emphasizes in particular that, far from reducing social inequalities, the system tends to reproduce them and, although most French people think the system achieves good results, this is far from true, as international comparisons show.
According to Vincent Tournier, this situation is the result of the system's excessive centralization which, in spite of the many reforms that have been approved, continues to impede any improvements. For this reason he recommends trying to decentralize. Admittedly decentralization may well lead to social, geographical and other inequalities, but these can be counteracted by close monitoring and compensatory measures; above all, he argues, decentralization will make it possible to satisfy better the concerns of parents and pupils and to adapt schools to meet local needs. From this standpoint, it could also be a means of increasing local participation and therefore, ultimately, would be more democratic.

Bibliography

Institutions

« Décentralisation et recomposition des territoires : 1982-2002 »

Vingt ans après le lancement de la réforme visant à décentraliser la gestion des affaires publiques en France, la revue Problèmes politiques et sociaux propose un dossier spécial destiné à en faire le bilan. Les auteurs (parmi lesquels Jean-Louis Guigou, Pierre Mauroy ou Michel Mercier, par exemple) s'intéressent aux conséquences inhérentes à la mutation des institutions locales. Certaines collectivités locales sont en effet en profonde évolution, soulignent-ils, à l'image des départements et des communes, notamment. De fait, on ...

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Bibliography

Institutions

Refonder l’action publique locale

Installée par le Premier ministre le 17 novembre 1999, la Commission pour l'avenir de la décentralisation, composée d'élus locaux chevronnés de toutes couleurs politiques et présidée par Pierre Mauroy, ancien Premier ministre et sénateur-maire de Lille, devait faire au gouvernement français des propositions pour une deuxième étape de la décentralisation. Remis le 17 octobre 2000 à Lionel Jospin, quelques semaines après le départ très médiatisé des élus de droite de la Commission, le « rapport Mauroy » comprend 139 pages ...

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Bibliography

Économie, emploi - Institutions

Perspectives agricoles de l’OCDE 1999-2004

Cinquième édition de la série, cet ouvrage présente une évaluation des tendances et des perspectives qui marqueront, à moyen terme, les principaux marchés de produits agricoles des pays membres de l'OCDE. Il s'efforce notamment de montrer dans quelle mesure les politiques gouvernementales influencent ces tendances, et de mettre en exergue les écueils auxquels celles-ci pourraient être exposées. Selon l'OCDE, les prix de nombreux produits ayant beaucoup chuté en raison d'une offre abondante et d'une demande ...

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Bibliography

Économie, emploi - Institutions

Entering the 21st Century. World Development Report 1999 / 2000

Le dernier rapport sur le développement de la Banque mondiale met l'accent, cette année, sur l'importance de la localisation. Après « le savoir au service du développement » (rapport 1998 / 1999), cette institution se penche sur les relations local-global et leur rôle dans les années à venir. Selon elle, la localisation, c'est-à-dire « la montée du pouvoir économique et politique des villes » sera une des grandes tendances nouvelles du siècle prochain. Les signes avant-coureurs en seraient notamment la propension croissante ...

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Forum

Institutions

L’avenir de la décentralisation française. Le nouveau clivage « jacobins-girondins « 

The Future of French Decentralisation. The New Jacobin/Girondist division
Reform of French public institutions has the character of being always topical but indefinitely postponed. Jean-Marc Ohnet here recalls projects which are under way, without giving much credence to their early adoption.
As organizer however of the "Decentralization Conference" which was held last year, he shows that a fairly broad consensus, crossing traditional political divisions, seems to be established today in France because of the need for greater decentralization accompanied by reconstruction of local and regional institutions (to create the authority of a town, acknowledge the "country", etc.).
But the Jacobins have not said their last on the subject. And despite the influence which may be exercised by European construction in the matter, the debate has doubtless only just begun, as the desire for in-depth reform is often inversely proportional to the powers held by its protagonists.

Bibliography

Institutions - Territoires, réseaux

Politique de pays

Trois ans après le vote de la loi d'orientation pour l'aménagement et le développement du territoire, la DATAR publie ce rapport de mission de Michel Kotas. Il fait le bilan de la dynamique des « pays » (cette nouvelle entité administrative qui transcende les découpages traditionnels et permet de regrouper des territoires ayant des caractéristiques communes). Analysant les expériences des pays-tests, il propose un certain nombre d'orientations à privilégier pour aller dans le sens de l'efficacité et de ...

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Revue

Institutions

La décentralisation, maître mot

Decentralization: a Key Word
Shigenobu Suzuki reacted to the scenarios sketched by J.M. Bouissou by underlining the role that decentralization could play: addressing at the local level the lack of confidence the Japanese have in their national political class and allowing the rise of new leaders who will weigh heavily in the reconstruction of the political scene.
He also stresses the role of the "bronze triangle" (political parties, bureaucracy and business) by emphasizing the special power of business leaders and on the changing balance of power among the elites of the triangle and civil society.

Bibliography

Institutions

Les Collectivités locales et l’économie nationale

Jacques Méraud signe ici un ouvrage richement documenté, s'adressant autant aux spécialistes des questions locales qu'aux étudiants ou aux profanes. Il commence par une présentation détaillée des administrations locales françaises actuelles, de leurs activités et de leur financement. Il les resitue dans la comptabilité nationale et détermine leur poids dans l'économie du pays. Ensuite, il fait le bilan de 35 ans de gestion locale (de 1959 à 1994), en comparant les méthodes des collectivités à celles de ...

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