Towards a differentiation of public action in French territories

September 2017

Towards a differentiation of public action in French territories

Over the course of the first meeting of the Conference of the Territories (a new platform for exchange, consultation and decision-making headed by the French prime minister), Emmanuel Macron presented the new differentiation of public action, a vector for a new equality of opportunity for the territories.

This differentiated action will first of all enable consultation in advance of each reform with the local and regional authorities concerned, and allow players to focus on specific priorities according to the territory. Local experimentation will need to be amplified and the principle according to which local experiments must be either generalised to the entire French territory, or abandoned, will be discarded. A draft law on administrative simplification and the ‘right to make a mistake’ will be presented, giving French prefects the power to make local adaptations to regulations.  This power to adapt legal norms to local realities could be transferred to the regional councils that desire it, with new delegations of authority. Such is the wish of the French overseas local and regional authorities in particular, in light of their specific constitutional status. At the European level, the French head of state argues for a stop to the over-transposition of EU norms, as well as a systematic evaluation, in cross-border regions in particular, of norms in force in France’s neighbouring countries, in order to assess the effectiveness of France’s own norms.

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