To simplify the puzzle, join several pieces together! For our region, that would mean merging the departments of Nord Pas de Calais with those of Picardy (Aisne, Oise and the Somme). Certain politicians are considering it, including Dominique Dupilet, former president of Pas de Calais. In short, continue the regional big bang. And at the same time align the reform of local administrations with the new enlarged regions and the emergence of European metropoles: in our case, Lille. The latter will take over the powers currently invested in the departmental constituencies for their own agglomerations. This means that the North will be on a forced diet and so in need of a tandem operation with its neighbour for everyone’s good health. Other advantage: Arras and Amiens would become departmental capitals. No great change there as they are already capitals of the Pas de Calais and the Somme respectively. Amiens has never got over the insult of Lille being the de facto capital of Nord-Pas de Calais and Picardy, to judge by Picardian raised voices in the current debate. As for the new name, there’s no contest there: “The Department of Nord-Pas de Calais and the Department of Picardy”. Final advantage: it would be easier to delegate areas of legal competence – the crux of the problem in France – between the new public administration bodies. Infrastructures, economic development, education and professional training, tourism and culture, social and economic aid… the field is vast. As for the new enlarged departments, they will no doubt seek to impose their mark… after all, if the voting system has been thoroughly reformed with larger cantons, it’s not with a view to eliminating them.
Translated by Loveday Pollard and proofread by SafeTex
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