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France: Intermunicipal Authorities

Last modified: 2019-04-28 by ivan sache
Keywords: intermunicipal authority |
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Métropoles

Status of Métropoles

Métropoles, the most integrated intermunicipal authorities in France, were created by Law No. 1,563, "On the Reform of Territorial Collectivities" (text), issued on 16 December 2010 and published on 17 December 2010 in the French official gazette, No. 292, p. 22,146. Their organization is prescribed by Law No. 58, "On Modernization of Public Action and Affirmation of Métropoles" (text), issued on 27 January 2014 and published on 28 January 2014 in the French official gazette, No. 23, p. 1,562, last amended on 1 January 2019 (consolidated text).

Métropoles are centered on the French biggest towns. Two of them (Grand Paris and Grand Lyon) have a special status, described in several Articles of the founding Law. Métropole de Lyon (Grand Lyon) is a territorial collectivity with special status and jurisduction as both a department and a métropole.

Olivier Touzeau, 9 January 2019


Index of Métropoles

Métropoles (19)

Métropoles with special status (2)

Territorial collectivity (1)

  • Métropole de Lyon (Grand Lyon)

Intermunicipal Communities

Status of Intermunicipal Communities

Law No. 586 "On consolidation and simplification of intermunicipal cooperation" (text), issued on 12 July 1999 and published on 13 July 1999 in the French official gazette, No. 160, p. 10,361, last amended on 22 March 2015 (conslolidated text) prescribes a modification of the General Code of the Territorial Authorities, Part V ("Local cooperation"), Book II ("Intermunicipal cooperation).
The law prescribes different authorities, depending on the population and spatial arrangement of the municipalities.

Article 1 prescribes Communautés d'agglomération (Town Communities, agglomération refering to a big municipality proper and the surrounding, smaller municipalities): "The Town Community shall be a public institution of intermunicipal cooperation, grouping several municipalities, which form, at the date of its creation, a body of at least 50,000 inhabitants, territorially uninterrupted and without any enclave, around one or several central municipalities with more than 15,000 inhabitants. The demographic threshold of 15,000 shall not appply when the Town Community includes the capital of a Department. [...] These municipalities join together within an area of solidarity to elaborate and manage together a common project of urban and territorial development."
As of 2006, the Departments whose capital has less than 15,000 inhabitants are Ardèche (Privas), Ariège (Foix), Creuse (Guéret), Lozère (Mende) and Guadeloupe (Basse-Terre).

Article 5 prescribes Communautés urbaines (Urban Community): "The Urban Community is a public institution of intermunicipal cooperation, grouping several municipalities, territorially uninterrupted and without any enclave, which form, at the date of its creation, a body of at least 500,000 inhabitants, and join together within an area of solidarity to elaborate and manage together a common project of urban and territorial development. These requirements are not mandatory for the Urban Communities that already existed at the date of publication of Law No. 99-586 of 12 July 1999 on consolidation and simplification of intermunicipal cooperation."
The last sentence refers to Urban Communities that had been settled "informally", before the adoption of the present law.

Article 14 amends the definition of the Communautés de communes (Municipal Communities) already given in the General Code of the Territorial Collectivities: "The Municipal Community shall be a public institution of intermunicipal cooperation, grouping several municipalities, territorially uninterrupted and without any enclave".
The requirement of territorial continuity was added to the previous definition. Accordingly, all municipalities, providing they share a border, can join a Municipal Community, without any demographic threshold.

Ivan Sache, 19 September 2009


Index of Intermunicipal Communities

This list is not a comprehensive list of French Intermunicipal Communities but only an index of those for which flag-related information is presented on this website.

Communautés urbaines

Communautés d'agglomération

Communautés de communes


Index of suppressed Intermunicipal Communities

Communautés urbaines

Communautés d'agglomération

Communautés de communes

Earlier authorities