Press release :
What sort of territorial reform for the French Republic ?
After two years spent dillydallying on the so-called « act three of decentralization », the new French government has resumed its traditional centralist and technocratic approach.
The 21 metropolitan regions are to merge to increase their size and reduce their number to 11, according to uniform criteria, without taking into account their social, historical and cultural (especially linguistic) diversity and the wishes of the populations affected.
Instead of delegating new competences to regions and granting them the corresponding political and financial means, the government is considering withdrawing again the « general competence clause», abolished under Sarkozy in 2010 and restored in 2014 (!)
The Occitan Nation Party recalls its positions. It favours :
- autonomy for the regions and cooperation between all the regional and local authorities in the French State and beyond its borders.
- a redefinition of the regions according to linguistic and cultural identities (in particular by including Occitan peripheral areas) and not in a technocratic manner but by consulting the populations affected by referendum.
- a restructuring of Occitan space through « small historical countries» that should replace departments as local communities.
- stronger powers and financial means for regions so that they can boost economic development and achieve better land use.
The Occitan Nation Party is therefore opposed to heterogeneous regional groupings, like those considered between on the one hand Aquitaine and Limousin and on the other hand Poitou- Charentes, or between Rhône-Alpes and Auvergne (on the contrary, it is advisable to detach the departments of Drôme and Ardèche from the Rhône-Alpes region).
It is also opposed to the dogma of necessarily big regions which would compel Basque and Catalan people to become integrated into Occitan regions although they rightly demand the creation specific local authorities. To redefine regional territories in the best possible way, some department territories should also be redefined.
For the Occitan Nation Party, Occitan regions should be defined if possible according to observable solidarities and close links, a sign of which is the Occitan language they have in common. Furthermore, the revitalization of Occitania’s central region requires the recognition and the improved status of a Guyenne identity, from Bergerac to Mende. Groupings between these regions are possible, respecting their respective personalities and subject to approval of the populations concerned.
Occitan Nation Party
April 22nd, 2014