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Colloque CAENTI – Besançon – October 2008, 16 th & 17 th New “ pays ” (little countries) as local level of the process of Territorial Intelligence in France. Comparative study of the Pays Basque and the Couserans Christian BOURRET – Eguzki URTEAGA
3 laws for the assertion of a new territorial level : 1995 (Pasqua), 1999 (Voynet) and 2003.
The « pays » as « a local territory having a cohesion geographical, cultural, economic or social on a basin scale of life ».
A rebirth of a strongly identity territory. The breaking of 1790 (same competences for new entities: municipalities and departments). The « pays » is then the Nation and not a local territory.
2 - An extreme diversity illustrated by the cases of Pays Basque and Couserans
334 « pays » in France in 2007.
French Pays Basque recognized as soon as 1997. 260 000 inhabitants. 2995 km². Demographic and economic dynamism . A very specific language . Specific political parties. Revival of political claims : Basque departement, Basque University, Basque Euro-Region ?
Couserans : 27980 inhabitants. 1640 km². « Pays » recognized in 2002. Few federative projects : the PNR (Regional Natural Park) but not specific to Couserans. Unemployment . Elderly population. Weakness of financial means (very poor cf RMI ). Disagreements and fears .
2 - An extreme diversity illustrated by the cases of Pays Basque and Couserans (2)
« Pays » cover only 73% of the national territory and 41% of the population (rural territories).
Competition with « communautés de communes » (born in 1992) or complementarity ? France already has too territorial levels .
A too strong heterogeneity ? Example of Pays Basque and Couserans, Vésubie (5100 inhabitants) – Rennes (420 000). So in Spanish Catalonia ( comarques ).
3 - Which future for the « pays » ? (2)
Or a privileged framework of an identity of proximity ?
People search for reference marks having meaning and for collective projects and identity .
Identity is an important asset but it is far from being sufficient for development.
4 - The local level of a regionalized process of Territorial Intelligence ?
Territorial Intelligence is important for competitiveness of companies and social cohesion (Carayon, 2003) in the economy of immaterial (Levy-Jouyet, 2007).
Territory is always under construction by the interactions and the convergence of representations of all their actors accelerated by uses of ICT.
Territorial capital . Potential role of the diasporas .
A new territorial networking in a regionalized European Union.
The cases of Pays Basque and Couserans illustrate the extreme diversity of « pays ».
Importance of stakes : vital need of identity , sustainable economic development in a globalized world.
Territories of local projects, the « pays » can be the first level of Proximity Territorial Intelligence .
The laws of 1995 and 1999 on planning and development of territory, extended in 2003, allowed the assertion of the “ pays ” (local countries) which constitute territories having a geographical, cultural, economic and social cohesion carrying joint projects (territories of projects). They met certain success. On January 1st, 2007 France counted 334 recognized “ pays ”. The “ pays ” are from now on in the heart of the policies of sustainable development of the territory. However, this common denomination hides realities very different, so much on the level of the political situations, cultural, economic and social and on the level of the projects of territory which approach varied fields. They have different competences, various resources and very different budgets. The examples of the Pays Basque in Aquitaine and the Couserans in the Midi-Pyrénées region offer significant illustration. These two examples are used to analyze the “ pays ” within a process of Proximity Territorial Intelligence centred on the identity, the construction of the convergence of the actors’ representations, the social networks, the projects culture within the framework of the new uses of ICT and the economy of the immaterial.