Territorial reforms in France: what account is being taken of cross-border cooperation?

February 2015

Territorial reforms in France: what account is being taken of cross-border cooperation?

On 18 June 2014 in France, the draft legislation concerning the country's new territorial organisation (the NOTRe Act), which provides for a reorganisation of the competences of the territorial authorities at all levels, was submitted to the Senate.

In its role as a defender of the interests of cross-border territories, the MOT studied the draft legislation and thought about amendments that would enable better account to be taken of the specificities of border regions. One of the aims is that the territorial development plans and documents envisaged take account of the other side of the border.

At its first reading at the Senate, Michel Delebarre, Senator for the Nord Department and the MOT's president, submitted an amendment making it possible to add to the Regional Economic Innovation and Internationalisation Development Plan a cross-border component, drawn up in consultation with the territorial authorities of the neighbouring countries. It was adopted and forms part of the bill passed on 27 January 2015.

For the bill's first reading at the Assemblée nationale (on 3 February, with the final vote scheduled for 10 March 2015), the MOT has worked with Philip Cordery, the MP for French nationals in the Benelux and Chairman of the study group on cross-border areas and workers. Amendments will be submitted during the session in order to enable account to be taken of the cross-border dimension in the territorial development documents and cultural and sports policies.

Lastly, an amendment has been adopted that allows a French territorial authority, which is the manager of an investment operation co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to only co-finance a minimum of 15% of the total amount financed by public entities (compared with 20% currently). This will enable territorial authorities to take advantage, where this is possible, of the ERDF's maximum co-financing rate of 85%.

After a second reading at the Senate and the Assemblée nationale, the NOTRe Act is due to be adopted before the summer.
The consequences of the reform of territorial public action for cross-border cooperation will be the subject of the MOT's panel discussion on 17 June 2015.

More info on the NOTRe Act [FR].

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