towards a big bang of the state organization in the territories

It was December 10, the day after the act IV of the mobilization of "yellow vests". After weeks of media silence, the President of the Republic recorded a speech on television in which he said he wanted "to be asked the question of the organization of the state, the way it is governed and administered from Paris, probably too centralized for decades ". A month later, on January 12, 2019, this declaration was translated into three major questions in his Letter to the French. To the first questions: "Are there too many administrative levels or levels of territorial collectivities? Should we reinforce decentralization and give more power of decision and action closer to the citizens?

At what levels and for which services? It would be easy to answer in the affirmative. Indeed, between the municipality, the intercommunality, the department, sometimes the metropolis, and the region, the institutional entanglement is sometimes such that the public action becomes almost unreadable, losing efficiency. At the scale of the Île-de-France region, for example, there are more than 1,200 municipalities, seven departments and fifty intercommunalities, including a metropolis that itself contains 131 municipalities, 12 inter-municipal, three departments and the City of Paris. Following its meeting with the associations of elected officials on January 14, 2019, Jacqueline Gourault, Minister of Territorial Cohesion and Relations with Local Authorities, spoke of mobility, the starting point of the crisis:

" Who is in charge of commuting today? These are the regions. The rural mayors, received at the Élysée at the same time by Emmanuel Macron, propose, they, to go towards a logic of federalism where we would really take into account local specificities ".

Mobility, a topic of crisis

Before the mayors of the Eure gathered at Grand Bourgtheroulde on January 15, 2019, the president has already said " ready to reopen the NOTRe law »:« We must not unravel everything but we must pragmatically improve things. On the overall operating allocation, he found that it was " elected officials who [avaient] created them

42 criteria ". At the mayors' congress last November, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe admitted that they are " so complex that they offer an incomprehensible result ". So he had invited the elected officials to " to make proposals " in this domain. In response to the second set of questions " How would you like the state to be organized and how can it improve its action? Should we review the functioning of the administration and how? Quote article 1 of the Constitution - " France is an indivisible, secular, democratic and social republic [...] Its organization is decentralized - is not enough anymore. At the launch of the National Territories Conference, in the Senate, on July 17, 2017, Emmanuel Macron promised to refound the role of the state and local authorities in everyday life [...] and adapt that role to the transitions that our country has to face ".

Since then, town halls, departments and regions have left this instance, asking " a shared agenda of reforms " as well as'" a sincere consultation between the State and the communities " against " the avalanche of norms and regulations ". The last question on this theme is about " how the state and local communities can improve to better meet the challenges of our most struggling territories ".

France in a social emergency

The break-up of the Benalla affair in mid-July 2018 has indeed postponed consideration of the draft constitutional revision law, but it provided for a right to differentiation for communities to exercise their powers. do not necessarily have. Without waiting for the return of this text to Parliament, the Association of Small Towns of France (APVF), which represents municipalities between 2,500 and 25,000 inhabitants, proposes, for its part, territorial contract "Based on a triptych mobility-revitalization of city centers-fight against medical desertification. The latter is also the great missing of the mail Emmanuel Macron. Its funding would be based on " a national equalization fund ", Where a euro of the European Union, a euro of the region and a euro of the metropolis would abound these peripheral territories.

The Philip government had certainly promised to make a break " for " do not upset our territorial organization once again After the passing of the Maptam law in the last five years, creating the metropolises, merging the regions and the NOTRe law, redistributing the competences of local levels. However, in view of the social urgency of the situation with French people who always feel more " downgraded "Or even" abandoned The president will have to review his copy after two months of citizen consultations.

The referendum in debate

In the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, the word "referendum" appears 13 times. "National sovereignty belongs to the people who exercise it through its representatives and by way of referendum", is it written in Article 3. At the end of this sentence, the "yellow vests" want to add "d citizens' initiative in all matters including constitutional and ratification of treaties; this article can only be changed by referendum ". The Citizen's Initiative Referendum (the RIC) would make it possible to "repeal inappropriate or unjust laws", to propose them in tax matters, or to "dismiss an elected representative". It would be added to the referendum of shared initiative, created by the constitutional revision of 2008 and in force since 2015. The initiative of the latter is a proposal of law co-signed by 20% of parliamentarians on the organization of public authorities , economic, social or environmental reforms, the ratification of a treaty, before its conformity is verified by the Constitutional Council. The text must then be signed by 10% of the electorate on the site Finally, according to, if Parliament has not considered the bill within six months, the head of state calls a referendum. It is undoubtedly in view of this complexity that Emmanuel Macron writes that "a great democracy like France must be able to listen more often to the voices of its citizens", with this question: "Should we increase the referendums and who should have the initiative? "As of January 2, the deputy of Vienne Sacha Houlié (LRM), had said on LCI that the Elysee had" under study the track "of a referendum with multiple questions. Asked about this subject after its meeting on January 14, 2019 with associations of elected officials, the Minister of Territorial Cohesion and Relations with Local Authorities replied "Why not? "It's not in the French tradition. We must refine, "continued Jacqueline Gourault, who asked aloud:" Should we go on a theme or full of extremely varied topics? I ask to see. It's not yet precise enough [mais] nothing is ever closed. C.A.