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A territorial collectivity (or territorial authority, French: collectivité territoriale, previously collectivité locale) is a chartered subdivision of France, with recognized governing authority. It is the generic name for any subdivision (subnational entity) with an elective form of local government and local regulatory authority. The nature of a French territorial collectivity is set forth in Article 72 of the French Constitution of 1958, which provides for local autonomy within limits prescribed by law.
- Regions: France has 18 regions, or 14 not including single territorial collectivities (collectivities with special status).
- Departments: France has 94 departments as territorial collectivities (most recently the merger of the territorial collectivities of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin to form the territorial collectivity of Alsace). However, the word is also used for the 101 territorial divisions of the State administration, which in most cases cover the same area as territorial collectivities.
- Collectivities with special status: this status is awarded by specific laws to 6 collectivities which replace departments and regions (Corsica, the Greater Lyon, Paris, Mayotte, French Guiana and Martinique).
- Overseas collectivities (collectivités d'outre-mer, COM): France has five COMs.
- Provinces: There are 3 provinces, all in New Caledonia.
- Communes: There are 36,782 communes. They are found throughout the republic (except for Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Wallis and Futuna, which are subdivided differently, as well as Clipperton Island, which is directly administered by the office of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Overseas France).
- New Caledonia is the only French local government that is not a collectivité territoriale. It has its own articles in the French constitution. Since it cannot be categorized, it is sometimes unofficially called a collectivité sui generis (although "collectivity" is not, strictly speaking, a legal category). It is also unofficially called a pays (d'outre-mer), because its local legislative assembly (the congress) can rule using its own lois du pays. New Caledonia voted in 2020 to reject independence and maintain its current status.
- Corsica became the only collectivité territoriale unique that is within metropolitan France starting on 1 January 2018, with new territorial elections held as a result.
- The régions are divided into départements: ROMs are divided into DOMs; New Caledonia is divided into provinces; départements, COMs (except Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, and Wallis and Futuna), DOMs, and provinces all are divided into communes.
- The commune of Poya is the only French subdivision assigned to two upper-level units (the provinces of North and South).
- Paris and some overseas entities belong to two categories.
- Paris is both a département and a commune. It has one mayor and one assembly.
- French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Réunion are both ROM and DOM. Guadeloupe and Réunion each have two presidents and two assemblies, while French Guiana, Martinique and Mayotte each have a single assembly.
- Each COM has its own statutory law that gives it a particular designation:
- The assembly of a région and of a ROM is the regional council (conseil régional). They are presided over by a president of the regional council (président du conseil régional).
- Corsica's assembly is called the assemblée de Corse (Corsican Assembly). It is also presided over by the president of the regional council.
- The assembly of a département (except Paris) or that of a DOM is called a conseil départemental. It is presided over by a président du conseil départemental.
- The assembly of a province is called an assemblée de province. It is presided over by a président de l'assemblée de province.
- A commune's assembly (except that of Paris) is called a conseil municipal. It is presided over by a mayor (maire).
- The Assembly of French Polynesia is presided over by the président de la Polynésie française.
- Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon's assemblies are called conseil territorial. Each of these is presided over by a président du conseil territorial.
- Wallis and Futuna's assembly is called an assemblée territoriale. It is presided over by the prefect (préfet).
- New Caledonia's assembly is called a congrès. It is presided over by the président du gouvernement.
Past and future collectivités territorialesEdit
- The category of overseas territory (territoires d'outre-mer) was eliminated under the constitutional reform of 28 March 2003. French Southern Territories is still a TOM, but this is now a particular designation, not a category. This uninhabited territory no longer is a collectivité territoriale.
- Mayotte and Saint Pierre and Miquelon used to be collectivités territoriales belonging to no category (but with a status close to that of a DOM), sometimes unofficially called collectivité territoriale à statut particulier, or collectivité territoriale d'outre-mer.
- Mayotte held a vote in 2009 to change its status, and it became a ROM in 2011.
- Guadeloupians and Réunionnais have refused to eliminate their ROM and DOM in order to create a unique collectivité territoriale.
- The European Collectivity of Alsace will be effective from 2021.
- Bridge, F.H.S. (1994). The Council of Europe French-English Legal Dictionary. Council of Europe. p. 37. ISBN 978-92-871-2496-8.
collectivité — community, body, authority, taxpayer. […] collectivité territoriale — territorial authority.
- "Collectivité territoriale" (in French). INSEE.
- Not the same as intercommunal metropolis.
- "New phase of administrative decentralisation launched". eironline. 2003-04-29. Retrieved 2014-01-03.