Regional reform: a challenge for growth

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As part of the report "What France in 10 years? "report, France Stratégie has just published an analysis note proposing to adapt the administrative and political map to the new geography of growth.
Metropolises are the engines of growth. They must be supported and their influence on the territory must be ensured by strengthening the powers of the regional council and extending the perimeter of the regions.

Enlarging the perimeter of the regions, so that each one has a metropolis, while strengthening their skills, particularly in terms of transport and economic development, strengthening interaction between metropolises and their regions, extending and adapting infrastructures, allowing mobility and, in general, encouraging the spread of growth from dynamic urban centres, is the best way to ensure the prosperity of all territories.

To this end, the authors of the note propose three axes:
- Enlarge the perimeter and strengthen the competences of the regional level by integrating metropolisation ;
- Supporting the development of metropolises in interaction with the regions ;
- Ensure the development of territories far from metropolitan areas.

It is desirable that each region should be able to benefit from the presence of one or more metropolises on its territory in order to take advantage of their dynamism. To this end, the perimeter of the regions must be extended. The economic effectiveness of territorial policies will also depend on the region and the metropolis working together, because the economic effectiveness of territorial policies will depend on their coordination and the strategies they implement in a coordinated manner.

The ten metropolitan regions that have at least one metropolis on their territory currently concentrate 67 % of the population, 76 % of the GDP, 70 % of the competitiveness clusters and 80 % of the laboratories of excellence. Increasingly, in economies driven by innovation, growth is being generated in metropolises that encourage formal and informal interactions between the worlds of research, business and training: between 2000 and 2010, growth averaged 1.6 % in the fourteen major metropolises, compared with only 1.1 % in France as a whole.

This metropolisation of growth raises questions about the administrative and political organisation of the territory: the challenge is for metropolises to exploit their growth potential to the full, while at the same time spreading it to all territories. The map of "creative classes", with its dense concentration of engineers, researchers, artists, managers, scientists, etc., illustrates the potential of metropolises. However, they should not become isolates of growth within a territory in difficulty.

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