Multilevel Intergovernmental Relations and Competitiveness-Oriented Regional Policy in France: Case Study of the Franche-Comté Region

  • Yushi OKABE
    Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Research Fellow Graduate Student, University of Tokyo

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Other Title
  • フランスにおける多層的政府間関係と競争力重視の地域政策
  • フランスにおける多層的政府間関係と競争力重視の地域政策 : フランシュ・コンテ地域圏を事例として
  • フランス ニ オケル タソウテキ セイフ カン カンケイ ト キョウソウリョク ジュウシ ノ チイキ セイサク : フランシュ ・ コンテ チイキケン オ ジレイ ト シテ
  • ——フランシュ・コンテ地域圏を事例として——

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Abstract

The change in the environment surrounding French regional policies can be interpreted in two ways: one is the change in intergovernmental relations during the transformation of administrative systems; and the other is the political emphasis on competitiveness. Under these new circumstances, French political actors execute regional policies to reinforce their competitiveness in multilevel intergovernmental relations. This paper examines the case of the Franche-Comté region.<br>Franche-Comté is one of the most industrialized regions in France (both the proportions of number of laborers and added value of manufacturing are the highest in the country), but this region is suffering in the face of industrial conversion. The main industries in Franche-Comté (automobiles, watchmaking, glasses frames, etc.) are struggling, and local governments are supporting and promoting their reconversion.<br>In terms of political systems, the political competencies related to regional economic development are distributed among the régions and intercommunalités. The régions play a significant role in the field of regional policies. The régions also play important roles in regional development in the field of budget. Traditional governments (local administrative organizations such as départements and communes) are less powerful in the area of regional policy. In the process of executing regional policies, the régions play a central role and tend to support areas that have the potential to develop. Other areas are supported by different government bodies such as the EU or départements. In this way, the internal balance in the régions is maintained.<br>In the Franche-Comté region, influences of both old and new governments are important in the process of regional industrial conversion. The Franche-Comté région stimulated the conversion of microtechniques. The département and commune helped financially in the construction of the microtechniques center TEMIS and Grand Besançon (intercommunalité) manages TEMIS.<br>Thus, multilevel intergovernmental relations are significant for regional policies and regional economies. In France, more rational distribution of competence has been discussed in recent years. However, it must be noted that multilevel political actors play very important roles in maintaining infraregional balance.

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