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Decentralization in France and Spain: a European strategy

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  1. Introduction
  2. An obstacle to the autonomy of member States
  3. Creation of European monetary System
  4. Distinct advantages
  5. Conclusion

Like any political space, the regional space is "socially constructed by local practices, by its own history, by a set of social relations more or less organized." (Lighter and Sawicki 1989, p3). In the nineteenth and twentieth century, the French and Spanish regions have formed simultaneous spaces of political mobilization and areas of tension between the state and lower levels of local government. This inherited form of past practices and beliefs, has put strong constraints on the logic of action of contemporary institutions and groups of regional stakeholders. Regions that have been presented as the heirs of distant provinces of the former regime crystallized the division between local and regional groups that posed continuous threats to the unity of the Republic, and those who called for a reorganization of the state Republicans. If the transition of the French provincial departments is the work of elected Constituent Assembly, the current map of the French regions is the brainchild of senior officials. They have reasoned in a primarily economic perspective and rational without any control and with very little coordination. The current boundaries of the French regions date back to the decree of October 28, 1956 through the establishment of regional action programs. In Spain, since the democratic transition of the 1970s, the struggles of definition around the evolution of the state have helped shape the regional models of collective action which are highly differentiated. In 1978, the Spanish Constitution established the right to political autonomy for the territories. However, the access regime in the territories that favored autonomy in the past overwhelmingly supported a statute of autonomy, namely Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Country.

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